In a recent survey undertaken on behalf of First Response, and released in conjunction with a partnership with the March of Dimes aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes, reveals two-thirds (67 percent) of American women aged 18 to 44 who became pregnant found out about their pregnancies by using a home pregnancy test.
The "State of Pregnancy in America" survey also revealed that 55 percent of those pregnancies were unplanned. In cases of unplanned pregnancies, more than one-quarter (28 percent) of mothers who did not try but became pregnant said they would have made different prenatal care choices if they had found out they were pregnant sooner.
"The sooner you find out you're pregnant, the better for you and for your baby," says Janis Biermann, Vice President, Education and Health Promotion, for the March of Dimes. "Women who get early and regular health care during pregnancy have healthier babies, are less likely to deliver prematurely (prior to 37 completed weeks gestation), and are less likely to have other serious problems related to pregnancy." Premature births are on the rise in the United States, and the March of Dimes says 1 out of 8 babies -- more than 470,000 -- is born prematurely each year.
A home pregnancy test that detects pregnancy first is First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, giving a woman a result up to five days before the first day of her missed period.
"Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to any woman's health. When she's pregnant, it becomes critical to both her and her baby. Therefore, the sooner a woman learns she is pregnant, the sooner she can begin prenatal care and promote a healthy start to her baby's life," said Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist in private practice in New Haven, Conn., and a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine.
The First Response survey also showed that more than one out of ten (11 percent) women who have been pregnant report they didn't know how to take care of themselves properly during pregnancy. "The most important thing a pregnant woman can do is learn of her pregnancy as early as possible," advises Dr. Minkin. "That way she can see her doctor right away and be educated as to proper prenatal care which is absolutely critical."
Harris Interactive conducted the online survey on behalf of First Response in the United States between January 7 and 18, 2005 among 1,272 women aged 18 - 44, of whom 723 have been pregnant. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.