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Awareness and use of peri conceptual folic acid supplements amongst pregnant women at a metropolitan hospital


Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal
Kassam Mahomed, Women’s and Children’s Services, Ipswich Hospital and University of Queensland, Australia
Melinda Stanton, Women’s and Children’s Services, Ipswich Hospital and University of Queensland, Australia

Abstract

Background: Peri conceptual folic acid prevents 70% of neural tube defects. Worldwide and in Australia 30-64% of pregnant women adhere with current peri conceptual folic acid supplementation guidelines and 39-82% is aware of its timing.
Objectives: This paper focuses mostly on awareness of peri conceptual folic acid supplementation in pregnancy. 
Design: Prospective cross-sectional interviewer-assisted survey.
Setting: Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Participants: 400 pregnant women, ≤20 week’s gestation, attending their “booking in” visit.
Results: Full awareness of the importance of folic acid in pregnancy was evident in 70% of women and was significantly associated with its adherence (P<0.05). Full awareness of the peri conceptual timing was evident in 47% of women and was significantly associated with its adherence (P<0.05). Full awareness of both the importance and timing of folic acid was evident in 36.5% of women. 
Conclusion: Full awareness of peri conceptual folic acid supplementation in pregnancy is low. More work is needed to address this so that women receive specific information regarding the importance of folic acid as well as its peri conceptual timing. 

Keywords

Folic acid, Peri conceptual, Awareness, Pregnancy, Embryonic development, Smoking, Socioeconomic status, Antenatal care, Clinic, Women, Data entry, Bivariate analysis, Down’s syndrome, Cystic fibrosis, Food fortification

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