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Contraception. 2009 Mar;79(3):194-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.09.009. Epub 2008 Oct 30.

Unintended pregnancy and associated maternal preconception, prenatal and postpartum behaviors.

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Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



This study was conducted to determine the relationship between unintended pregnancy and maternal behaviors before, during and after pregnancy.


Data were analyzed from a stratified random sample of 9048 mothers who delivered live born infants between 2001 and 2006 and completed the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) survey 2 to 9 months after delivery. Binary and ordinal logistic regression methods with appropriate survey weights were used to control for socio-demographic factors.


Compared to women with intended pregnancies, mothers with unwanted pregnancies were more likely to consume less than the recommended amount of preconception folic acid [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-3.2], smoke prenatally (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.5-2.9), smoke postpartum (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.35-2.55) and report postpartum depression (OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.48-2.64); they were less likely to initiate prenatal care during the first trimester (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.3-0.5) and breastfeed for 8 or more weeks (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.97). Compared to women with intended pregnancies, women with mistimed pregnancies were also more likely to consume inadequate folic acid, delay prenatal care and report postpartum depression.


Even after controlling for multiple socio-demographic factors, unwanted and mistimed pregnancies were associated with unhealthy perinatal behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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