Trends in Timing of Pregnancy Awareness Among US Women
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Trends in Timing of Pregnancy Awareness Among US Women

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  • Alternative Title:
    Matern Child Health J
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    Early pregnancy detection is important for improving pregnancy outcomes as the first trimester is a critical window of fetal development; however, there has been no description of trends in timing of pregnancy awareness among US women.


    We examined data from the 1995, 2002, 2006–2010 and 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth on self-reported timing of pregnancy awareness among women aged 15–44 years who reported at least one pregnancy in the 4 or 5 years prior to interview that did not result in induced abortion or adoption (n = 17, 406). We examined the associations between maternal characteristics and late pregnancy awareness (≥7 weeks’ gestation) using adjusted prevalence ratios from logistic regression models. Gestational age at time of pregnancy awareness (continuous) was regressed over year of pregnancy conception (1990–2012) in a linear model.


    Among all pregnancies reported, gestational age at time of pregnancy awareness was 5.5 weeks (standard error = 0.04) and the prevalence of late pregnancy awareness was 23 % (standard error = 1 %). Late pregnancy awareness decreased with maternal age, was more prevalent among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women compared to non-Hispanic white women, and for unintended pregnancies versus those that were intended (p < 0.01). Mean time of pregnancy awareness did not change linearly over a 23-year time period after adjustment for maternal age at the time of conception (p < 0.16).

    Conclusions for Practice

    On average, timing of pregnancy awareness did not change linearly during 1990–2012 among US women and occurs later among certain groups of women who are at higher risk of adverse birth outcomes.

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