A survey of folic acid use in primigravid women

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Women and Birth, 2010, 23 (2), pp. 67 - 73
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A convenience sample of 320 consecutive primigravid women attending the antenatal clinic of a large Sydney tertiary referral hospital were invited to take part in a survey of folic acid use in pregnancy. The aim of the survey was to determine the number of primigravid women who commenced taking folic acid supplementation at least 1 month prior to conception. In addition the survey sought information on women's source of knowledge about the need for folic acid in pregnancy and whether their pregnancy was planned or unplanned. 295 women qualified to be included in the survey. While 88.1% of women took folic acid at some time prior to and/or during the first trimester, only 23.4% were found to have taken folic acid at least 1 month prior to conception. Of women with a planned birth only 34.5% commenced folic acid prior to conception. This survey adds further weight to the decision of the Australian Government to mandate for fortification of bread-making flour with folic acid, due to commence in September 2009. However, even with folic acid fortified food, health professionals need to continue to advise women to take supplements prior to conception and for at least 12 weeks into their pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. © 2009 Australian College of Midwives.
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