Pregnant Women's Knowledge and Beliefs about the Safety and Outcomes of Delivery at Various Gestational Ages.


Journal Article

Objectives  Despite the morbidity associated with late preterm and early-term births, there is limited data on pregnant women's perception of neonatal risk based on gestational age (GA). Therefore, our objective was to determine pregnant women's perception of neonatal risks at varying GAs. Method  Through an anonymous 24-question survey, pregnant women were asked to designate the GA at delivery that is desirable, safe, and defined as full term. Responses were compared based on race, history of preterm birth, and medical comorbidities. Results  Among the 233 survey respondents, the majority (62.9%) desired delivery at 36 to 39 weeks' gestation. Black women were more likely to desire delivery at 28 to 35 weeks compared with other racial/ethnic groups ( p  = 0.005). Women with a history of preterm birth or medical complications were less likely to desire delivery at 40 weeks. More than 40% of respondents thought delivery at 8 months of pregnancy was safe and 40.3% responded that 37 weeks' gestation is considered term. Conclusion  Misconceptions surrounding the definition of a term pregnancy are pervasive and vary by race, obstetric history, and medical comorbidities. Our findings highlight the need for patient education about appropriate gestational length, especially in minority and high-risk populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Baldwin, MA; Swamy, GK; Wheeler, SM

Published Date

  • January 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 1

Start / End Page

  • e7 - e12

PubMed ID

  • 29362688

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29362688

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2157-6998

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-0038-1624561


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States