PRAMS - Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System
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Pre-Pregnancy Health

  • During the month before pregnancy, 30 percent of women took a multivitamin, prenatal vitamin or folic acid vitamin every day of the week. Fourteen percent took a vitamin between 1 to 6 times per week, and 57 percent didn’t take a vitamin at all.
  • During the year prior to pregnancy:
    • 43 percent of women said they were exercising three or more days of the week and 29 percent were dieting to lose weight.
    • 53 percent of women had their teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist.
    • 10 percent of women visited a health care worker to be treated or checked for diabetes and 10 percent were treated or checked for high blood pressure. Thirteen percent were treated or checked for depression/anxiety.
    • 27 percent of women talked with a health care worker about family medical history.

Family Planning

  • 42 percent of pregnancies resulting in live births were reported as unintended.
  • 46 percent of women not trying to get pregnant were not using birth control at the time of conception.

Prenatal Care

  • 81 percent of women heard or read about the importance of taking folic acid to prevent some birth defects.
  • 65 percent of women reported being tested for HIV during their pregnancy, while 16 percent did not know if they were tested.
  • 45 percent of women went to a dentist or dental clinic during their pregnancy and 47 percent reported being counseled by a dental or other health care worker about care of teeth and gums.
  • During pregnancy, 8 percent of women were told by a health care professional they had depression.
  • 77 percent of women reported a health care worker talked with them about what to do if they felt depressed during their pregnancy or after the baby was born.

Risk Factors

  • 3 percent of women reported being physically abused by their husband or partner in the 12 months before their pregnancy; 2 percent reported abuse during pregnancy.
  • 21 percent of women smoked cigarettes during the three months before they became pregnant and 9 percent smoked during the last three months of pregnancy.
  • 53 percent of women reported drinking alcoholic beverages on a weekly basis in the three months before becoming pregnant. That figure dropped to 7 percent during the last three months of pregnancy. During both time periods, most women reported drinking three or fewer drinks per week.
  • Since their new baby was born, 9 percent of women reported they often or always felt down, depressed or sad. During the same time period, 9 percent of women were told by a health care professional they had depression.

Infant Health and Care

  • When asked how they learned to install and use an infant car seat, 30 percent of women reported a health or safety professional showed them. Many women indicated they read the instructions (50%) or they already knew how to install the seat because they have other children (52%).
  • 72 percent of women reported they most often put their baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • 82 percent of women reported breastfeeding their baby at least once after birth and 68 percent were still breastfeeding one month after delivery.
  • Among women who did not breastfeed, the most common reasons for not doing so were they did not like breastfeeding (40%) or didn’t want to breastfeed (33%).

Source: 2010 Illinois Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Center for Health Statistics. For more information about Illinois PRAMS visit or call 217-557-5317.