Interconception Challenges of Women Who Had Prior Preterm Births

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the interconception challenges of women who had prior preterm births.

Design:

We used a cross-sectional design and collected data via survey.

Setting:

King County, Washington.

Participants:

Ninety-two women who had prior early preterm births (20–33 weeks gestation) were included.

Methods:

Women were recruited from a larger study focused on exploring the infectious pathways for early preterm birth. Participants were interviewed once using open-ended and close-ended surveys. The primary open-ended survey question was What are the five greatest challenges you experience now? We analyzed data using inductive and summative content analysis and descriptive statistics.

Results:

Ninety-one participants described challenges. One participant had no challenge. We categorized 11 challenges during the interconception period: Mothering (n = 70, 76%), Self-Care Desires (n = 35, 38%), Finances (n = 31, 34%), Employment (n = 31, 34%), Partner Relationships (n = 29, 32%), Individualized Concerns (n = 25, 27%), Mental Health (n = 23, 25%), Balance (n = 22, 24%), Physical Health (n = 19, 21%), Housing (n = 18, 20%), and Family (n = 17, 19%).

Conclusion:

Participants described an array of challenges that often related to their roles as mothers, employees, and partners. Our research advances knowledge by describing contemporary challenges of women during the interconception period.

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