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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A descriptive survey of the health behaviors of prenatal class attenders Kiss, Linda Ann


A descriptive survey was conducted on 220 prenatal class attenders to identify their health behaviors with regard to smoking, intake of alcohol, non-prescription drugs, caffeine, and diet. The reported changes and factors which influenced the changes in health behaviors were also investigated. Data were collected utilizing two questionnaires, one administered early in pregnancy, the other later in pregnancy. Findings indicated that 15% of the pregnant women smoked, 48% consumed alcohol, 40% used non-prescription drugs other than prenatal vitamins, 89% consumed tea, coffee or colas, and 81% had diets which did not meet the minimum requirements of Canada's Food Guide. Most respondents reported a change in health behaviors during pregnancy. Major influences on changing behaviors were own personal knowledge, books, magazines and pamphlets, change in craving, and doctor. Pregnant women who smoked during pregnancy were younger and had less education than non-smokers, and were more likely to have been born in Canada. Women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy tended to be older than non-drinkers and were also more likely to have been born in Canada. Respondents whose diets did not meet Canada's Food Guide recommendations tended to have less education than women with adequate diets and were also less likely to be Canadian born. The findings of only 8% of pregnant women reporting health behaviors that did not warrant some improvements, suggests there is a continuing need for health education.

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