Surveillance for selected maternal behaviors and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), 2000

Letitia M Williams, Brian Morrow, Amy Lansky, Laurie F Beck, Wanda Barfield, Kristen Helms, Leslie Lipscomb, Nedra Whitehead
MMWR Surveillance Summaries 2003 November 14, 52 (11): 1-14

PROBLEM/CONDITION: Various maternal behaviors and experiences are associated with adverse health outcomes for both the mother and the infant. These behaviors and experiences can occur before pregnancy (e.g., insufficient intake of folic acid), during pregnancy (e.g., complications requiring hospitalization, such as high blood pressure), and after pregnancy (e.g., inadequate follow-up of infants who were discharged early). Information regarding maternal behaviors and experiences is needed to monitor trends, to enhance the understanding of the relations between behaviors and health outcomes, to plan and evaluate programs, to direct policy decisions, and to monitor progress toward Healthy People 2010 objectives (US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd. ed. With understanding and improving health and objectives for improving health [2 vols.]. Washington DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).

REPORTING PERIOD COVERED: This report covers data for 2000.

DESCRIPTION OF SYSTEM: The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is an ongoing, state- and population-based surveillance system designed to monitor selected self-reported maternal behaviors and experiences that occur before, during, and after pregnancy among women who deliver a live-born infant in 31 states and New York City. PRAMS employs a mixed-mode data collection methodology; as many as three self-administered surveys are mailed to a sample of mothers, and nonresponders are followed up with a telephone interview. Self-reported survey data are linked to selected birth certificate data and weighted for sample design, nonresponse, and noncoverage to create annual PRAMS analysis data sets. PRAMS data can be used to produce statewide estimates of various perinatal health behaviors and experiences among women delivering a live infant. Four indicators for the year 2000 (multivitamin use, pregnancy-related complications, infant checkup, and postpartum contraceptive use) from 19 states are examined in this report.

RESULTS: In 2000, the prevalence of multivitamin use > or =4 times per week in the month before pregnancy ranged from 25.0% to 40.7% across the 19 states. Prevalence of pregnancy-related complications requiring hospitalization ranged from 8.8% to 16.3%. Prevalence of infant checkups within 1 week of early (< or =48 hours) hospital discharge ranged from 51.5% to 88.6%. Prevalence of postpartum contraceptive use ranged from 77.9% to 89.9%.

INTERPRETATION: PRAMS data indicate that 19 states are well below the Healthy People 2010 objective for folic acid consumption, as measured by multivitamin use. Data for infant checkups indicate that guidelines for care are not being followed for as many as half of those discharged early. However, data for additional years are needed to assess trends in these four indicators.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: State maternal and child health programs can use these population-based data to monitor progress toward Healthy People 2010 objectives, evaluate adherence to guidelines for care, and assess changes in prevalence of other health behaviors. The data can be shared with policy makers to direct policy decisions that might affect the health of mothers and infants. By providing data on maternal behaviors and experiences that are associated with adverse outcomes, PRAMS supports the activities of two CDC initiatives-to promote safe motherhood and to reduce infant mortality and low birthweight.

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