Maternal Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Concerning Interpregnancy Interval

Authors

  • Carolyn R. Ahlers-Schmidt, Ph.D. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, KS
  • Nikki Keene Woods, Ph.D., MPH Wichita State University, Department of Public Health Sciences, Wichita, KS
  • Danielle Bradshaw, M.D. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, KS
  • Anna Rempel, M.D. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, KS
  • Matt Engel, MPH University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, KS
  • Mary Benton, Ph.D. University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, KS

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.v11i4.8703

Keywords:

maternal-child health services, pregnancy, reproductive history, birth intervals, infant mortality

Abstract

Introduction. Few studies have examined maternal intentions and
practices related to interpregnancy interval (IPI). IPI less than 18
months has been linked to increased preterm birth and infant mortality.
This manuscript reports on a cross-sectional survey of mothers
conducted to understand maternal knowledge, attitudes, and practice
of IPI in Sedgwick County, Kansas.


Methods. New and expectant mothers and mothers of neonatal
infant care unit (NICU) graduates (n = 125) were surveyed regarding
the issues surrounding IPI. Front desk staff handed out self-administered
surveys, which were returned to a nurse upon completion.
NICU participants were emailed a link to the survey hosted on SurveyMonkey
®.


Results. Fewer than 30% of mothers reported previously receiving
information about IPI from any source. When asked about risks associated
with IPI, women frequently (n = 58, 45%) identified increased
risk for birth outcomes with no known association with short IPI.
Findings regarding maternal attitudes surrounding optimal IPI were
mixed with many mothers defining ideal IPI as less than 18 months
(n = 52, 42%), while broadly reporting they believed that a woman’s
body needs time to heal between pregnancies. Respondents from the
NICU sample generally reported shorter optimal IPI values than the
other participants. When IPI was estimated from participants’ past
pregnancies, half of IPIs were less than 18 months. Mothers reported
they favored healthcare providers as a source for IPI education. Faceto-
face discussions or printed materials were the preferred modes of
education.


Conclusions. Women were aware of the need for spacing between
pregnancies, however, that knowledge was unassociated with past
behavior. These findings should be taken into consideration when
formulating future interventions. Kans J Med 2018;11(4):86-90.

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Published

2018-11-01

How to Cite

Ahlers-Schmidt, C. R., Woods, N. K., Bradshaw, D., Rempel, A., Engel, M., & Benton, M. (2018). Maternal Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Concerning Interpregnancy Interval. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 11(4), 86–90. https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.v11i4.8703

Issue

Section

Original Research