Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women

April 11, 2012

A newly published article in the journal Nursing for Women's Health highlights the importance of a woman's ability to time her childbearing. The author asserts that contraception is a means of health promotion and women who work with their health care providers to ensure they are healthy prior to conceiving can minimize their risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there were more than four million births in the U.S. in 2009. A study by Kuklina et al. (2009) shows an increase in severe obstetric complications from 1998-1999 to 2004-2005, with renal failure increasing by 21%, pulmonary embolism by 52% and the need for blood transfusion by 92%. Moreover, maternal mortality has risen sharply in the past 20 years with a low of 6.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987, rising to 12.7 in 2007.

"There is a new urgency to ensuring that women have access to affordable contraceptive services given the rising rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in the U.S," explains Catherine Ruhl, CNM, MS, Director of Women's Health Programs at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) in Washington, DC. "If women are able to choose when, and if, to become pregnant, they can protect themselves and their baby from pregnancy-related complications by ensuring they enter pregnancy in good health."

Ruhl points out that contraception counseling and birth control methods should be considered prevention, which in turn promotes good health. In the U.S. health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension have increased in women, increasing the risk of pregnancy complications. Federal data sources report that slightly less than half of women who gave birth in 2007 had a healthy pre-pregnancy weight.

A certified nurse-midwife, Ruhl suggests that women discuss their reproductive goals and contraception options with their health care providers. "Women deserve to have a full understanding of the benefits of being in the best health possible prior to pregnancy, and have providers who will partner with them to achieve their goals," she concludes.
-end-


Wiley

Related Pregnancy Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 has a prolonged effect for many during pregnancy
Symptoms for pregnant women with COVID-19 can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer for a quarter of the women who participated in a national study led by UC San Francisco and UCLA.

Relaxed through pregnancy
A group of researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to show that maternal psychological wellbeing during pregnancy has a positive effect on newborn infants.

Trajectories of antidepressant medication use during pregnancy
In an analysis of women who started pregnancy when taking antidepressant medications, investigators identified three trajectories of antidepressant dispensing during pregnancy: more than half stopped their treatment, a quarter maintained their treatment throughout pregnancy, and one-fifth discontinued it for a minimum of three months and then resumed it during the postpartum period.

Are women using e-cigarettes during preconception and/or pregnancy?
A new study of 1,365 racially/ethnically diverse, low-income pregnant women found that 4% reported e-cigarette use.

A better pregnancy test for whales
To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive.

Cannabis use during pregnancy
The large health care system Kaiser Permanente Northern California provides universal screening for prenatal cannabis use in women during pregnancy by self-report and urine toxicology testing.

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy
A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding.

The effect of taking antidepressants during pregnancy
Exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy and the first weeks of life can alter sensory processing well into adulthood, according to research in mice recently published in eNeuro.

Is ivermectin safe during pregnancy?
Is it safe to give ivermectin to pregnant women? To answer this question, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by 'la Caixa,' conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported cases of accidental exposure to the drug among pregnant women.

Going to sleep on your back in late pregnancy
This study looked at whether going to sleep on your back in the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with average lower birth weights.

Read More: Pregnancy News and Pregnancy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.