The effects of a woman-focused, woman-held resource on preventive health behaviors during pregnancy: The pregnancy pocketbook

Shelley A. Wilkinson, Yvette D. Miller, Bernadette Maria Watson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the effectiveness of a woman-held pregnancy record ('The Pregnancy Pocketbook') on improving health behaviors important for maternal and infant health. The Pregnancy Pocketbook was developed as a woman-focused preventive approach to pregnancy health based on antenatal management guidelines, behavior-change evidence, and formative research with the target population and health service providers. The Pregnancy Pocket book was evaluated using a quasi-experimental, two-group design; one clinic cohort received the Pregnancy Pocketbook (n D 163); the other received Usual Care (n D 141). Smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity were assessed at baseline (service-entry) and 12-weeks. Approximately two-thirds of women in the Pregnancy Pocketbook clinic recalled receiving the resource. A small, but significantly greater proportion of women at the Pregnancy Pocketbook site (7.6%) than the UC site (2.1%) quit smoking. No significant effect was observed of the Pregnancy Pocketbook on fruit and vegetable intake or physical activity. Few women completed sections that required health professional assistance. The Pregnancy Pocketbook produced small, but significant effects on smoking cessation, despite findings that indicate minimal interaction about the resource between health staff and the women in their care. A refocus of antenatal care toward primary prevention is required to provide essential health information and behavior change tools more consistently for improved maternal and infant health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-358
Number of pages17
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • antenatal
  • behavior change
  • fruit
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • pregnancy
  • smoking
  • vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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