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BACKGROUND: Observational studies relating maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D status to timing and mode of delivery have reported inconsistent results. We assessed the effect of antenatal cholecalciferol supplementation on the incidence of preterm birth, delivery mode and post-partum haemorrhage (PPH). METHODS: MAVIDOS was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 1000 IU/day cholecalciferol from 14 weeks' gestation until delivery. Gestational age, mode of delivery [categorized as spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD), instrumental (including forceps and vacuum extraction) or Caesarean section] and PPH (>500 ml estimated blood loss) were determined from medical records. RESULTS: A total of 965 women participated in the study until delivery. Gestation at birth and incidence of preterm birth (cholecalciferol 5.7%, placebo 4.5%, P = 0.43) were similar between the two treatment groups. SVD (versus instrumental or Caesarean delivery) was more likely in women randomized to cholecalciferol [Relative Risk (RR) 1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02,1.25] due to lower instrumental (RR 0.68, 95%CI 0.51,0.91) but similar risk of Caesarean delivery (RR 0.94, 95%CI 0.74,1.19). PPH was less common in women randomized to cholecalciferol [32.1% compared with placebo (38.1%, P = 0.054) overall], but similar when stratified by delivery mode. CONCLUSIONS: Antenatal cholecalciferol supplementation did not alter timing of birth or prevalence of preterm birth but demonstrated a possible effect on the likelihood of SVD.

Original publication




Journal article


J Public Health (Oxf)

Publication Date



25-hydroxyvitamin D, Caesarean, cholecalciferol, delivery, labour, post-partum haemorrhage, pregnancy, preterm birth