Information on the hemoglobin status of pregnant and lactating mothers was scarce. The objectives of this study were to determine the burden and determinants of anemia in the pregnant and lactating mother.

Even if anemia resulted in these entire adverse outcomes for pregnant mother and their children, information on hemoglobin status of pregnant and lactating mothers are scarce. Due to lack of information decision makers are not capitalizing on the problem of anemia in pregnancy and lactating mother.

This study is designed to attempt to fill these gaps. The objectives of this study were to compare the prevalence of anemia among pregnant and lactating women. Furthermore, the study attempted to identify the determining factors of anemia in pregnant and lactating mother and these aims were achieved successfully.

A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted. Descriptive statistics were used to identify the prevalence of anemia. Binary logistic regression and multiple linear regressions were used to identify the predictors of anemia.

The prevalence of anemia in lactating and pregnant women was 43.00% (95% CI {confidence interval}, 41% – 45%) and 84% of anemia was microcytic and hypocromic anemia.

Anemia in lactating and pregnant women was positively associated with malaria infection [AOR{adjusted odds ratio} 3.61 (95% CI: 2.63–4.95)], abortion [AOR 6.63 (95% CI: 3.23–13.6)], hookworm infection [AOR 3.37 (95% CI: 2.33–4.88)], tea consumption [AOR 3.63 (95% CI: 2.56–5.14)], pregnancy [AOR 2.24 (95% CI: 1.57–3.12)], and Mid-upper arm circumference [B 0.36 (95% CI: 0.33, −0.4)].

Anemia in pregnant and lactating mother was negatively associated with urban residence [AOR 0.68, (95% CI: 0.5–0.94)], iron supplementation during pregnancy [AOR 0.03 (95% CI, 0.02–0.04)], parity [B -0.18 (95% CI: -0.23, −0.14)], age [B -0.03 (95% CI: -0.04, −0.03)].

Both pregnant and lactating mothers were affected by anemia and the burden of anemia is higher in the pregnant mother than the lactating mother and iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia.

Anemia in pregnancy and lactation was determined by a history of malaria, history of abortion, hookworm infection, tea consumption, MUAC, residence, iron supplementation during pregnancy, parity, and age.