BACKGROUND: There is evidence that antenatal factors play a role in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). However, little is known about the effects of maternal lifestyle factors during pregnancy on the risk of AD in the offspring. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on the incidence of AD in the offspring. METHODS: A total of 24 341 mother-child pairs enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort were followed prospectively. Information about alcohol consumption was obtained by interview at 12 and 30 weeks of gestation. Information about symptoms, time of onset, and doctor's diagnosis of AD in the offspring was obtained by interview at 18 months of age. The effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on the incidence of AD was analysed by Cox regression allowing for different effects of alcohol before (early infancy) and after 2 months (60 days) of age. RESULTS: Alcohol during pregnancy was associated with a significant and dose-dependent increased risk of AD in early infancy. This effect was mainly seen in high-risk infants (two parents with allergic disease). Thus, the highest risk of AD in early infancy was seen in high-risk infants of mothers who consumed four or more drinks per week at 30 weeks of gestation (adjusted relative risk 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.7-10.1). There was no effect of alcohol during pregnancy beyond early infancy. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of early-onset AD in predisposed infants.
Ambivalence during the early stages of pregnancy is a known phenomenon, among expectant mothers as well as among applicants for abortion. The conflict of wanting or not wanting to have a child must be solved in the decision-making process that precedes the choice of whether to interrupt a pregnancy or carry it to full term. The time limit for this decision making process is reduced by the medical abortion methods now available. Hasty early abortions as well as delayed abortions create problems and should be avoided. The present Swedish study, based on 123 semistructured interviews conducted among expectant mothers, focuses on this ambivalence during early pregnancy. Fifty-five percent of the interviewees reported that the current pregnancy was planned, 14% had become pregnant in spite of using contraceptives. Fifteen percent had considered an abortion during the current pregnancy. Ten in-depth interviews revealed how women contemplating abortion dealt with their ambivalence and finally decided to continue the pregnancy. The study shows that no one but the pregnant woman herself can arrive at the informed analysis necessary for a well-considered decision about the future of her pregnancy. However, all pregnant women should be offered the opportunity to talk about their situation, their thoughts and feelings to a neutral listener, in order to make that decision.
During a three-month period in 1989, 820 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, were offered a HIV-antibody test and asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire about attitudes to HIV-antibody testing; 779 (95.0%) agreed to do so. One hundred and fifty-six women (20.0% of the participants) had been tested on a previous occasion, and 629 (80.7%) accepted the present offer to be tested. The most prevalent reasons to decline testing were indifference to the epidemic (45.3% of those declining), refusal of (further) blood testing (34.7%) and fear of being infected (16.7%). Women who consented to be tested most often expressed fear of being infected (21.8%). Fear of registration worried less than 5% of study group members; only 1% declined to be tested because of such worry. The pattern of worries expressed by the pregnant women is interpreted as one of anxiety and, in part at least, perplexity as concerns how to take rational consequences of public messages about the HIV epidemic. It is suggested that future surveillance be based primarily on voluntary testing and, whenever needed and possible, supplied with anonymous unlinked testing of existing blood samples from groups and persons declining to be tested. Such surveillance strategies should be supported in individual patient contacts and public health educational campaigns underscoring the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV and the need for repeated HIV-antibody testing of selected groups and individuals.
Maternal attitudes to infant feeding are predictive of intent and initiation of breastfeeding.
The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) has not been validated in the Canadian population. This study was conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian province with low breastfeeding rates. Objectives were to assess the reliability and validity of the IIFAS in expectant mothers; to compare attitudes to infant feeding in urban and rural areas; and to examine whether attitudes are associated with intent to breastfeed.
The IIFAS assessment tool was administered to 793 pregnant women. Differences in the total IIFAS scores were compared between urban and rural areas. Reliability and validity analysis was conducted on the IIFAS. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) of the IIFAS was assessed against mother's intent to breastfeed.
The mean ? SD of the total IIFAS score of the overall sample was 64.0 ? 10.4. There were no significant differences in attitudes between urban (63.9 ? 10.5) and rural (64.4 ? 9.9) populations. There were significant differences in total IIFAS scores between women who intend to breastfeed (67.3 ? 8.3) and those who do not (51.6 ? 7.7), regardless of population region. The high value of the area under the curve (AUC) of the ROC (AUC = 0.92) demonstrates excellent ability of the IIFAS to predict intent to breastfeed. The internal consistency of the IIFAS was strong, with a Cronbach's alpha greater than .80 in the overall sample.
The IIFAS examined in this provincial population provides a valid and reliable assessment of maternal attitudes toward infant feeding. This tool could be used to identify mothers less likely to breastfeed and to inform health promotion programs.
The relationship between individuals' prenatal expectations about parenthood and their postnatal experience of parenthood was examined. Seventy-three primiparous couples were interviewed during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and asked open-ended questions regarding their expectations. A content analysis of these expectations identified several themes. A cluster analysis, using these themes as variables, identified 3 clusters of women labeled prepared, fearful, and complacent and 4 clusters of men labeled prepared, fearful, complacent, and mixed. Postnatal comparisons indicated that women and men in the prepared cluster generally demonstrated better adjustment than did individuals in the other clusters. Results are discussed in terms of the content of expectations about parenthood, gender differences in these expectations, and the association between prenatal expectations and postnatal experiences.
Evidence links adequate prenatal care to improved birth outcomes. Research, however, indicates that First Nations women do not attend regularly for prenatal care. In the current study, seven informants, representing three First Nations tribes, were extensively interviewed to examine their beliefs about pregnancy and participation in prenatal care. First Nations women conceptualized pregnancy in a spiritual context and believed it to be a healthy, natural process requiring no intervention. Since they believed they were responsible for "taking care of themselves" during pregnancy, cultural practices that were thought to promote a healthy pregnancy were espoused. First Nations women were reportedly often dissatisfied with health-care providers in prenatal clinics. Their expectations of freely offered explanations and a friendly non-authoritarian approach were often not realized and their beliefs about pregnancy were in conflict with those of health-care providers. Barriers to prenatal care might be reduced by improving communication and providing holistic culture-specific care.
In order to study personality changes in first pregnancy and lactation, two groups of women (n = 161, mean age 26.8 years) completed the self-report inventory Karolinska Scales of Personality and a scale for emotional dependency during pregnancy and 3 or 6 months after delivery. The results were within normal limits when compared with the normative values. Analysis of variance showed that the subscales Muscular Tension, Somatic Anxiety, and Monotony Avoidance diminished significantly from pregnancy and to the test periods after delivery (all p values
The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of women choosing alternative maternity care compared with women who preferred conventional care. The former group of women had their antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care at birth center in Stockholm, Sweden. Characteristics of the birth center care were continuity of care, restriction of medical technology, parental responsibility and self care. Altogether 1086 women enrolled for birth center care were included in the Alternative Group (AG). A sample of 630 was selected from among pregnant women who preferred conventional care (CG). Both groups filled in a structured questionnaire, and the response rate was 100% (1086) in the AG and 70% (441) in the CG. Besides having a more critical attitude to conventional procedures of maternity care, women in the AG were older, better educated and had other professions than CG women. They were in better physical health, and tended to be less anxious when thinking of the approaching birth and motherhood. They had more positive expectations of the coming birth, and a greater interest in not being separated from the newborn and the rest of the family immediately after the birth. They were also more interested in being actively involved in their own care. Generally speaking, AG women were more concerned about the psychological aspects of childbirth. No differences were found between the groups regarding civil status, proportion of native Swedes, or parity. Women whose characteristics coincide with those of the AG may be a growing proportion of the female population, due to better education and a growing concern about the disease orientation of maternity care.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
BACKGROUND: Consumption of high doses of alcohol on a single occasion (binge drinking) may harm the developing foetus and pregnant women are advised to avoid binge drinking while pregnant. We present characteristics of Danish women who binge drank in the pre-and post recognised part of their pregnancy. METHODS: During the years 1996-2002 approximately 100,000 pregnant women were enrolled into the Danish National Birth Cohort. Women with information on binge drinking, time of recognition of pregnancy, age, reproductive history, marital status, smoking, occupational status, pre-pregnancy BMI, alcohol consumption before pregnancy, and mental disorders (n = 85,334) were included in the analyses. RESULTS: Approximately one quarter of the women reported binge drinking at least once during pregnancy; most of these in the pre-recognised part of pregnancy. Weekly alcohol consumption before pregnancy, single status and smoking were predictors for binge drinking in both the unrecognised and recognised part of pregnancy. Moreover, binge drinking in the pre-recognised part of pregnancy was more common among women aged 25-29 years, who were nulliparous, well educated in good jobs or skilled workers. Binge drinking after recognition of pregnancy was more common among women who were unintended pregnant, multiparous unskilled workers, had been unemployed for more than one year, or had mental/neurotic disorder. CONCLUSIONS: In order to prevent binge drinking during pregnancy, health care providers should target their efforts towards pregnant women as well as pregnancy-planners. It is important to be aware that women who binge drink before versus after the pregnancy is recognised have different social characteristics.