Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1055–1066 | Cite as

The Effect of Pregnancy Intention on Important Maternal Behaviors and Satisfaction with Care in a Socially and Economically At-Risk Population

  • Larry Humbert
  • Robert M. SaywellJr.Email author
  • Terrell W. Zollinger
  • Caitlin F. Priest
  • Michael K. Reger
  • Komal Kochhar


This study examined the association of pregnancy intention with maternal behaviors and the woman’s perceived satisfaction with her prenatal and delivery care. Face-to-face interviews with 478 primarily Medicaid eligible women in Indianapolis, Indiana during their postpartum hospital stay were conducted to assess their degree of satisfaction with prenatal care and pregnancy intention, stratified into wanting to be pregnant now, later or never. Behaviors and characteristics influencing utilization of prenatal care were obtained from linked birth certificate data. A greater proportion of younger women (15–29) wanted to be pregnant later, a greater proportion of African-Americans never wanted to be pregnant, a greater proportion of divorced and never married women wanted to be pregnant later or never, and as parity increased the percentage of women never wanting to be pregnant increased. Multivariate analyses found that women never wanting to be pregnant were twice as likely to underutilize prenatal care, twice as likely to smoke while pregnant, half as likely to utilize WIC services and half as likely to recommend their providers to pregnant friends or relatives compared to women with a planned pregnancy, controlling for confounding variables. Finally, women wanting to be pregnant later were half as likely to rate their overall hospital care and prenatal care provider as high. Providers assessing their patients’ pregnancy intention could better identify those women needing additional support services to adopt healthier behaviors and improve satisfaction with care. This study also demonstrated the value of more specific definitions of pregnancy intention.


Pregnancy intention Pre-natal care utilization Pre-natal care satisfaction Maternal behavior Delivery and hospital care satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Humbert
    • 1
  • Robert M. SaywellJr.
    • 2
    Email author
  • Terrell W. Zollinger
    • 3
  • Caitlin F. Priest
    • 1
  • Michael K. Reger
    • 2
  • Komal Kochhar
    • 2
  1. 1.Indiana Perinatal Network, IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineIndiana University School of Medicine, Bowen Research CenterIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA

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