There has been an increase in reports of clinical vitamin D deficiency in children in the UK, particularly among those of South Asian, Afro-Caribbean or African ethnicity. Antenatal vitamin D supplementation is effective in increasing maternal and cord vitamin D levels.
Aim To determine what influences women of South Asian ethnicity in Bradford when making a decision to take or not take vitamin D supplements during pregnancy.
Methods Study design Qualitative data collection during semi-structured interviews.
Participants 32 pregnant women of South Asian ethnicity in Bradford.
Setting Outpatient attendances for routine glucose tolerance testing.
Analysis Interview data analysed using the principles of grounded theory.
Results Information and advice from other people, including health professionals, was a strong influence on decision-making about use of dietary supplements during pregnancy. Employment and education opportunities positively influenced women's access to information about vitamin D.
Written information did not consistently affect their choice to take a vitamin D containing supplement, nor did personal knowledge about the importance of vitamin D.
Conclusions Direct advice from midwives and general practitioner's was a strong influence on their use of dietary supplements. This influence could be better used by health professionals to promote NICE endorsed antenatal vitamin D supplementation. This could potentially improve maternal and neonatal vitamin D levels, and reduce clinical vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and their offspring.
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