Why are some babies born healthy while others are not? The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) surveys new mothers about their pregnancy, delivery and their infant to find answers.
PRAMS is a joint research project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Mothers who receive surveys are randomly selected from reported Alabama births. Alabama is one of 47 states currently participating in PRAMS.
“If you receive a survey booklet, please complete it,” Alabama PRAMS Data Manager Victoria Brady said. “The information collected is used in developing health care programs and policies, and the results help doctors and nurses improve health care while making better use of health resources.”
The types of questions asked include:
- Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy
- Content and source of prenatal care
- Mother’s alcohol and tobacco use
- Any physical abuse before and during pregnancy
- Infant health care
- Contraceptive use
- Health care coverage
- Mother’s socioeconomic situation
- Postpartum depression
- Knowledge of pregnancy-related health issues such as nutrition, the benefits of folic acid, infant safe sleep practices, oral health during pregnancy, and the risks of STDs and HIV
Answers will be used for research purposes only and grouped with those of other women. Surveys take about 20 minutes to complete, are available in English and Spanish, and can be mailed back postage-free or completed over the telephone. Mothers may not want to answer a particular question, and that is okay. There is no penalty for not answering all questions.
Mothers who complete a survey may choose from among three complimentary items—disposable diapers, an insulated cooler, or a manicure set—mailed to them in appreciation for their participation.
“Every pregnancy is different, as is every birth,” Ms. Brady said. “Your experience may have a profound effect in bringing about a successful pregnancy and delivery for another mom or even for yourself with a subsequent pregnancy. You can play an active role in improving the health and well-being of Alabama women and babies.”