Authors: Lynn Chen, Austen Hentschel, Lauren Wright, Hailey Ballard, Nisha Chachad, Elizabeth Flood-Grady, Magda Francois, Elizabeth Shenkman, Janice Krieger, Dominick J Lemas
Faculty Mentor: Dominick J Lemas
College: College of Medicine
Antibiotics are one of the most prescribed medications to women during pregnancy and infant during early life. Over-utilization of antibiotics during the perinatal period is associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes including obesity. Despite these observations, there is a gap in understanding of how mothers feel about the use of antibiotics during pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to investigate the perspectives on how mothers view the benefits and concerns of taking antibiotics during pregnancy for themselves and their infants during early life. Eighteen in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with pregnant women from Alachua County. The interview transcripts were then analyzed to determine emergent themes based on the participants’ responses. We found that women generally viewed antibiotics as a medication that was over-prescribed and the decision to take antibiotics was largely based on trust in physician guidance, the availability of evidence-based information, and concerns for long-term health outcomes. From our analysis, we have found that the majority of mothers believe that antibiotics, for mom and baby, should only be used when necessary. Additionally, we found that receiving information about safe antibiotic use from trusted health care providers plays an impact on decision making for pregnant women.