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Degree of pregnancy planning and recommended pregnancy planning behavior among women with and without chronic medical conditions A large hospital-based cross-sectional study

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INTRODUCTION: Pregnancy planning allows women to engage in pregnancy planning behaviors to optimize health status in the preconception period. Women with chronic medical conditions have a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and therefore preconception care is recommended. The aim was to compare pregnancy planning among women with and without chronic medical conditions, and to assess adherence to the recommended pregnancy planning behaviors on folic acid intake, physical activity and abstention from smoking and alcohol, among women with and without chronic medical conditions stratified by pregnancy planning.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study with data from 28 794 pregnancies. Pregnancy planning was measured with the Swedish Pregnancy Planning Scale. Multiple Poisson regression with robust variance estimates was used to assess the associations between chronic medical condition (yes/no and main categories) and pregnancy planning, and chronic medical condition status and pregnancy planning behaviors stratified by pregnancy planning.

RESULTS: In the study population, 74% reported high degree of pregnancy planning, and 22% had one or more chronic medical conditions. We found no overall association between chronic medical condition and pregnancy planning (adjusted rate ratio [RR] 1.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.98-1.01). However, women with type 2 diabetes and mental illness were significantly less likely to plan their pregnancies than women without these conditions (aRR 0.73, 95% CI 0.61-0.88; aRR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87-0.96, respectively). Women with chronic medical conditions were more likely to adhere to the recommended planning behaviors; intake of folic acid, abstention from alcohol prior to pregnancy and no binge drinking in early pregnancy.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, pregnancies were highly planned. Women with chronic medical conditions did not show a higher degree of pregnancy planning than women without chronic medical conditions but were, however. more likely to adhere to the generally recommended pregnancy planning behaviors (ie intake of folic acid and abstention from alcohol intake). Only women with mental illness and type 2 diabetes reported a lower degree of pregnancy planning. It is important that we continuously address pregnancy planning and planning behaviors for both women with and women without chronic medical conditions, especially women with type 2 diabetes and mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Volume100
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1051-1060
Number of pages10
ISSN0001-6349
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NFOG). Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Research areas

  • alcohol consumption, chronic medical condition, folic acid, health behavior, preconception care, pregnancy planning, pregnancy planning behavior

ID: 61709655