Early Pregnancy Recognition as a Predictor of Early Prenatal Care Initiation among Women of Childbearing Age

Wednesday, 9 July 2008: 8:50 AM
Adejoke B. Ayoola, PhD, RN , Nursing, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
Manfred Stommel, PhD , College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MSc , Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Larry Hembroff, PhD , Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR), Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Audrey Gift, RN, PhD, FAAN , College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Renee Canady, PhD , Nursing Services Special Programs, Ingham County Health Department, Lansing, MI
Linda Spence, PhD, RN , Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Learning Objective 1: State the average time that women recognize their pregnancies and initiate PNC.

Learning Objective 2: State whether early pregnancy recognition is a significant predictor of the time of PNC initiation.

The Healthy People 2010 goal that 90% of women should initiate PNC in the first trimester presupposes that women do recognize their pregnancies early. However, a woman who does not recognize her pregnancy early may not initiate prenatal care (PNC) early and may continue unhealthy behaviors during the early period of pregnancy. This study examined whether the time of pregnancy recognition predicts the time of initiation of PNC, the number of prenatal visits. The study is a secondary data analysis of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) multi-state data for United States from 2000-2004. The PRAMS program entails cross-sectional surveys, addressing maternal behaviors and experiences that occur before, during, and shortly after pregnancy among U.S. women of childbearing age. The analysis involved weighting of complex survey data using STATA9.2 software. Binary and multinomial logistic regressions were used for the analyses. Of the 136,373 women in the study, 72.4% recognized their pregnancy within 6 weeks (mean = 5.9 weeks). Ninety percent of the women had recognized their pregnancy by 12 weeks (mean = 9 weeks) and 80% had initiated PNC by 12 weeks. Early pregnancy recognition is a strong predictor of early PNC initiation. Promotion of early pregnancy recognition by nurses may be effective in improving early entry into PNC among women of childbearing age.