March 28, 2018

Pregnancy planning and risk behaviours – a survey of women’s experiences in selected European countries

M Lesinska Sawicka and M Nagorska, 2018. Pregnancy planning and risk behaviours – a survey of women’s experiences in selected European countries, Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, Volume 25(1).


Pregnancy, a special period in a woman’s life, should be preceded by proper preparation: a positive attitude to procreation, selection of optimum time for becoming pregnant, starting prevention of neural tube defects, restriction of the use of drugs, smoking, etc. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pregnancy planning and antenatal classes on the use of stimulants during pregnancy. The study group included 877 women living in 7 European countries, and their experiences of planning pregnancy and substance abuse during pregnancy were investigated. In about a half (50.3%) of respondents the pregnancy was planned. The highest percentage of mothers who planned pregnancy was recorded in Poland and Bulgaria (about 76%). By contrast, in Germany the proportion of mothers who planned pregnancy was the lowest (46.2%). Surprisingly, they became pregnant despite very frequent use of birth control (96.7%). On average, 17.3% of respondents disclosed that they drank alcohol or coffee, smoked cigarettes or used psychoactive drugs during pregnancy. Among women who did not plan to be pregnant, the use of stimulants was recorded more often. However, pregnancy planning only slightly inclined women to stop the consumption of stimulants. Attendance at antenatal classes did not have any significant effect on the use of stimulants.

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