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Homelessness in the Perinatal Period and Associations With Reproductive Interconception Care: 2016-2019 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.

Public Health Reports 2023 November 5
OBJECTIVES: Women experiencing homelessness have higher rates of unintended pregnancy than stably housed women and may benefit from reproductive interconception care. How reproductive interconception care differs between women who did and did not experience perinatal homelessness is not known. We estimated prevalence ratios of reproductive interconception behaviors among US women experiencing homelessness during the perinatal period.

METHODS: We used data from the 2016-2019 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System to calculate the prevalence of 5 reproductive interconception care outcomes: attending a maternal postpartum checkup, participating in a conversation with a health care provider about birth intervals, receiving family planning counseling, obtaining a prescription for short-acting contraception, and having a long-acting reversible contraceptive inserted. We used complex survey weights, stratified by perinatal homelessness, and converted adjusted logistic regression odds ratios between housing status and outcome variables to adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% CIs.

RESULTS: Among participants, approximately 2.4% (weighted percentage; unweighted 2953 of 100 706) experienced homelessness sometime in the 12 months before their children were born; the majority were non-Hispanic (83.2%) and White (69.4%), were not married (82.2%), and had public health insurance (56.8%). Perinatal homelessness was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of attending a postpartum maternal visit (aPR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.87-0.94) and a higher prevalence of having a conversation about birth intervals with their health care providers (aPR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03-1.21).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that improving attendance at postpartum visits and evaluating birth interval conversations may strengthen interconception care practices while contextualizing social determinants such as housing stability. Improving uptake of postpartum visits may reduce unintended pregnancy, short birth intervals, and adverse birth outcomes in future pregnancies among women experiencing homelessness.

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