Paper on Social Campaign on Increasing Iron Intake During Pregnancy

Social Campaign: Increasing Iron Intake During Pregnancy


Iron deficiency is the leading cause of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). As a result, pregnant women are encouraged to take foods rich in iron or iron supplements to avoid IDA. In this media final report, I will describe the iron deficiency problem. I will then conduct a market research for my campaign followed by a market implementation strategy. Eventually, I will evaluate the social campaign to see if it was successful.

Problem Description

Iron deficiency is widespread in pregnancy and is certainly the most common cause of anemia during pregnancy. It is particularly common in lower economic groups (Alene & Dohe, 2014), with 14% in developed and 55% in developing countries (WHO/CDC, 2008). In fact, the prevalence of iron deficiency ranges from 16 to 55% in pregnant women during the third trimester (Means, 2009, p. 1240). Based on the WHO review of nationally representative samples from 1993 to 2005, 42% of pregnant women have anemia, out of which 60% is assumed to be due to iron deficiency in non-malarial areas and 50% in malarial areas (WHO/CDC, 2008). Severe anemia among pregnant women resulting from iron deficiency is associated with an increased risk of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity and of intrauterine growth retardation” (WHO, 2000; WHO/CDC, 2008). My target audience for the social marketing campaign is pregnant women. I will target women from both developing and developed countries.  The behavior goal I choose is increasing their iron intake during pregnancy.

Market research. People get pregnant for various reasons, such as for the continuation of a bloodline, for joy or happiness. Some people get children to complete their families or to get an heir. Some women reach a certain age and have the urge to have children. Children represent an extension to a generation, they also offer support to their parents in old age. Pregnant women thus seek to have their healthy babies at the end of the nine months pregnancy term. No woman expects pregnancy to be a life altering moment that will give her a nutrition deficiency. Most women expect their pregnancy to be healthy. Pregnant women also seek to have a healthy baby at the end of the nine month pregnancy. IDA is thus an unwelcoming complication that threatens the health of the mother and the baby. Increasing iron intake is, therefore, beneficial to pregnant women. The body produces more hemoglobin during pregnancy that on normal occasions thus the need for iron (Allen, 2000). In the absence of iron, women risk contacting anemia. Anemia brings with it symptoms of weakness and fatigue that are not welcome to a pregnant woman. Anemia may also lead to the birth of a premature baby. Therefore, it is beneficial to increase the iron intake of pregnant women. Increased iron intake also reduces the chances of infant mortality.

There are, however, barriers of increasing intake in pregnant women. Low educational levels affect results in a lack of nutritional education. Thus, women with low educational levels are in most cases ignorant of their nutritional needs. Women in developing countries face most of the barriers (Alene & Dohe, 2014). Iron supplements sometimes cause gastrointestinal side effects that prevent some women not to take them during their pregnancy. Other factors that prevent increased iron intake include inadequate supplies, cultural beliefs against the consumption of medicine during pregnancy, economic status and lack of awareness. Education, geographic location, culture, and inadequate supplies are external environmental factors affecting the increased intake of iron during pregnancy while awareness and side effects are internal environmental factors. During pregnancy, it is common to experience cravings. However, ingesting certain foods may result in blocking iron absorption in the body. Consumption of coffee and tea with a meal prevents the absorption of iron by up to 60% or 39% (Drefuss et al., 2000). Most people drink milk. However, taking calcium-rich food or drinks prevents the absorption of iron up to 50% (Drefuss et al., 2000). Soy and eggs also block the absorption of iron. Malaria, hookworms, and vitamin A deficiency are factors that cause iron deficiency.

Marketing strategy and implementation. Increasing the intake of iron in pregnant women is important. However, calcium, coffee, tea, eggs, and soy when ingested with iron prevent the maximum absorption of iron in the body. Hookworms, malaria, and vitamin A deficiency also cause iron deficiency.

Barrier Product Price Place Promotion Positioning
Low levels of education Create leaflets to educate women.     Have staff visit antenatal clinics to promote iron intake  
Poor economic status.     Provide seminars at antenatal clinics Suggest vegetables that have irons
Cultural beliefs Offer health education on the non-complication of iron as a form of medication     Suggest vegetables and other non-medication options
Side effects       Suggest vegetables and other natural foods and beverages with iron
Inadequate supplies.       Suggest vegetables and other inexpensive iron sources


My social campaign will be disseminated through social media, mass media and using posters. On social media, I will target social network pages where pregnant women and women in general socialize. For the mass media, I will use pregnancy and health magazines to print out my campaign. I will pin posters in antenatal clinics notice boards. I will collaborate with health officials as they have a higher chance of interacting with the pregnant women. I will leave leaflets of my campaign antenatal care health providers. They stand a chance of reaching the pregnant women. They are also professionals and experts so they will be more believable.

Monitoring and evaluation. I will use feedback forms, questionnaires, and email feedbacks from my target audience to evaluate the success of the campaign. I will also create a Facebook page where my audience can give their feedback. Questionnaires and feedback forms will seek to evaluate the behavior of pregnant women before and after my campaign intervention. The behavior to be evaluated is fatigue and weakness. I will also be seeking to check if there is an increase in numbers of women taking iron after my evaluation. This outcome will be evaluated using questionnaires and feedback on my Facebook page. Behavioral change evaluation will form part of my qualitative analysis while questionnaires will be part of the quantitative analysis.

Written Piece Description

The primary purpose of this social campaign is to ensure reduced cases of anemia among pregnant women through the increased iron intake. The secondary purposes include reducing infant mortality, increasing awareness and reducing fatigue among pregnant women. This handout is motivating because it informs pregnant women how to better take care of themselves and their unborn children. The SMOG analysis for my report is 8. Most people consider under 8 to be readable; therefore, my audience will not find the content unreadable. The design consideration for the poster is visual. The poster communicates using pictures and few words. The healthy pregnant woman is supposed to appeal to other pregnant women to increase their iron intake. The two pictures also provide a variety of food that pregnant women should take during their pregnancy. The poster is colorful with minimal text.

Iron deficiency is the major cause of IDA among pregnant women. To reduce the chances of IDA, pregnant women are advised to increase their iron intake. Iron can be in the form of iron-rich foods and beverages or iron supplements. Calcium is a competitive mineral of iron and when taken together, it reduces the iron intake. It holds true for the coffee, tea, soy, and eggs as well. These foods should not be taken at the same time with iron foods or supplements to maximize iron absorption in the body.




Alene, K. A. & Dohe, A.M. (2014). Prevalence of anemia and associated factors among pregnant women in an urban area of Eastern Ethiopia. Anemia, 2014, Article ID: 561567. Allen, L.H. (2000). Anemia and iron deficiency: Effects on pregnancy outcome. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(5), 1280s-1284s.

Dreyfuss, M.L., Stoltzfus, R.J., Shrestha, J.B., Pradhan, E.K., et al. (2000). Hookworms, malaria and vitamin A deficiency contribute to anemia and iron deficiency among pregnant women in the plains of Nepal. The Journal of Nutrition, 130(10), 2527-2536.

Means, R. T. (2009). Anemias during pregnancy and the postpartum period. In John Geer’s Wintrobe’s clinical hematology (pp. 1239-1245). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

WHO/CDC. (2008). Worldwide prevalence of anemia 1993–2005: WHO global database on anemia. Switzerland, Geneva: WHO Press.