A clinical study was performed on 203 mothers and their newborns from an inner city population at high medical and socioeconomic risk. Measurements of hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and percentage saturation were done. All premature and small for gestational age infants and any mothers with serious medical problems other than anemia were eliminated. Results were statistically analyzed for significant correlations between newborn and maternal hematologic measurements. The effect of multigravidity on the iron status of newborns was analyzed. There were no significant correlations found between maternal and newborn hematologic measurements. Multigravidity did not affect the iron status of these newborns. Incidence of iron deficiency in the maternal population was found to be 50%. The seriousness of iron deficiency anemia in infancy, and the need for a method of detecting iron deficiencies at birth or during infancy are discussed.