"Iron is crucial to early brain development," Rebecca J. Schmidt, an assistant professor at UC Davis and a researcher affiliated with the MIND Institute said in a statement.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that this risk was especially associated with women who had a low iron intake and had a metabolic condition like obesity hypertension or diabetes, or were 35 years old or older.
Each mother in the study had her daily iron intake via vitamins, supplements, and fortified breakfast cereals examined, "three months prior to through the end of the women's pregnancies and breastfeeding," the news release explained.
This is the first study of its kind and Schmidt stressed the importance of taking this information with a grain of salt as it needs to be replicated again in larger scale groups.
"In the meantime the takeaway message for women is do what your doctor recommends," she said in the statement. "Take vitamins throughout pregnancy, and take the recommended daily dosage. If there are side effects, talk to your doctor about how to address them."
Try some of our tips to feed your baby's brain during pregnancy.
Photo of pregnant woman with vitamins courtesy of Shutterstock.