Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 18 (1), 426

Low Vitamin D Status in Nursing Pakistani Mothers in an Environment of Ample Sunshine: A Cross-Sectional Study


Low Vitamin D Status in Nursing Pakistani Mothers in an Environment of Ample Sunshine: A Cross-Sectional Study

Ghulam Mustafa et al. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth.


Background: The maternal 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD) insufficiency is related to adverse maternal and neonatal outcome. The 25OHD content of breast milk is dependent on 25OHD status of the mothers. We undertook this study to ascertain the 25OHD status and its determinants in the nursing mothers of the south Punjab, Pakistan.

Methods: We recruited 67 mothers for this cross-sectional study by convenience sampling from August 2010 to June 2011 to ascertain their serum 25OHD level & its determinants. We used SPSS 23.0 for analyses.

Results: The mean age of the mothers was 25.75 ± 4.4 years. The median age (and mode) was 25 years (range 18-37 years). The majority of mothers were less than 25 years of age (62.7%), uneducated (68.7%), from rural area (70.1%), lived in open houses with ample sun exposure (85.1%) and belonged to low socioeconomic strata (71.6%). Serum 25OHD ranged from 7.2 to 43.8 nmol/L with a mean of 20.87 ± 7.69 nmol/L. The median and mode were 21.8 nmol/L & 24.0 nmol/L, respectively. The proportion of mothers with 25OHD < 20 nmol/L (severe deficiency) was 44.8%, < 30 nmol/L (deficiency) 49.3% and < 50 nmol/L (insufficiency) 5.9%. All had 25OHD below 50 nmol/L. The oral supplementation with vitamin D (vD) was the only significant determinant of vitamin D sufficiency.

Conclusions: The majority of Pakistani mothers in south Punjab are vD deficient & universal vD supplementation is the need of the hour to improve health outcomes in mothers & infants.

Keywords: Nursing mothers; Pakistan; South Punjab; Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The mothers were provided with the consent form. The consent form included the details about the study, nature of the samples required and that the patient can withdraw from the study at any time during the study. The participants gave written consent before participating in the study. The ethical committee of the Nishtar hospital, Multan, Pakistan approved the study.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Serum vD status of the nursing mothers (percentages rounded off to nearest whole digit)
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Age wise serum vD status of the nursing mothers (percentages rounded off to nearest whole digit)

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. van der Pligt P, Willcox J, Szymlek-Gay EA, Murray E, Worsley A, Daly RM. Associations of maternal vitamin D deficiency with pregnancy and neonatal complications in developing countries: a systematic review. Nutrients. 2018;10(5). - PMC - PubMed
    1. Ullah M, Koch C, Tamanna S, Rouf S, Shamsuddin L, Vitamin D. Deficiency and the risk of preeclampsia and eclampsia in Bangladesh. Horm Metab Res. 2013;45(09):682–687. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1345199. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Aghajafari F, Nagulesapillai T, Ronksley PE, Tough SC, O'Beirne M, Rabi DM. Association between maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and pregnancy and neonatal outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ. 2013;346:f1169. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1169. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Philip J. Not all about bones: the non classical role of vitamin D in public health. Perspectives in public health. 2012;132(1):6. doi: 10.1177/1757913911434497. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Thiele D, Ralph J, El-Masri M, Anderson C. Vitamin D3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation improves vitamin D status of the mother-infant dyad. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2017;46(1):135–147. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2016.02.016. - DOI - PubMed