An Evaluation of Prenatal Behaviors in a Rural Texas Community




John, Jennifer
Chiapa-Scifres, Ana


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Purpose: Appropriate prenatal care for mothers is an important part of maternal health and should be a public health concern. Mothers need to be adequately educated on appropriate health practices during their pre-conception, prenatal, and post-conception time periods. This study was aimed to assess the behaviors of reproductive age women in a rural community concerning their prenatal care and to see if age and education level played a role in their behaviors. Methods: 46 women completed a survey that was given out at the Perryton Health Center in Perryton, Texas. The study was given to women of reproductive age 18-45 who were pregnant at the time or had been pregnant. The survey asked about their most recent pregnancy and the behaviors associated: how early they sought prenatal care, tobacco use, folic acid supplementation, and flu vaccination. Results: 41% of the respondents were 18-25 years old; in that age group, the average time of their first prenatal visit was 6.94 weeks, 15.8% were smoking while pregnant, 52.6% got their flu shot, and 63.2% took prenatal vitamins every day. 44% were 26-35 year olds; the average time of their first visit was 6.59 weeks, 5% were still smoking, 55% got their flu shot, and 70% took prenatal vitamins every day. 15% were aged 36-45; the average time of their first visit was 6.28 weeks, 14.3% were still smoking, 71.4% got their flu shot, and 42.9% were taking their prenatal vitamins every day. Conclusions: It is important to educate women on safe behavior during the prenatal period. This data shows that younger moms seek prenatal care later and are less likely to get the flu shot. But when it came to smoking and taking prenatal vitamins, both the youngest and oldest age groups had poor behaviors. This information can help healthcare providers know what to focus on in their patient encounters and what the patients should be asked about and educated on.


Research Appreciation Day Award Winner - 2015 For HER Awards - 2nd Place Poster