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What is the purpose of PRAMS?

The purpose of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is to find out why some babies are born healthy and others are not. New mothers are surveyed about their pregnancy, delivery, and their new baby. That information helps us build on positive factors while overcoming adverse conditions. The information collected is used in developing healthcare programs and policies and it helps doctors and nurses improve their health care while making better use of health resources. Survey responses are grouped with those of other women and may be combined with the information the health department has from other sources or studies.

How can I help?

(Moms who receive surveys are chosen at random from reported Alabama births. Those moms will receive a letter in the mail informing them that their participation is being sought in an effort to make pregnancy and childbirth a positive experience for women throughout Alabama. About a week later the survey booklet will arrive with instructions for filling it out. Every mom who returns a survey plays an active role in improving the health and well-being of Alabama women and babies. The survey can be completed in about twenty minutes. Each mom who returns a completed survey will receive a token of our appreciation.

Are my answers kept private?

Absolutely! Data from the completed surveys are kept private like all personal health information. The data are keyed into the PRAMS system without any identifiers for the moms or babies. A mom may choose not to participate at all or not to answer a particular question (or multiple questions) that she may feel are too personal.

What type of questions will I be asked?

  • Attitudes and feelings about the most recent pregnancy
  • Content and source of prenatal care
  • Maternal alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Any physical abuse before and during pregnancy
  • Infant health care
  • Contraceptive use
  • Health care coverage
  • Maternal socio-economic situation
  • Postpartum depression
  • The mother's knowledge of pregnancy-related health issues such as nutrition, the benefits of folic acid, infant safe sleep practices, oral health during pregnancy, and the risks of STDs and HIV.

Will my survey answers really make a difference?

Yes! Because so few mothers receive the survey completing and returning the form is very important. Every pregnancy is different, as is every birth. Your experience may have a profound effect in bringing about a successful pregnancy and delivery for another mom or even for yourself with a subsequent pregnancy.

What objectives can be achieved with PRAMS survey responses:

  • Modify existing public health programs
  • Develop and implement programs or interventions to improve maternal and infant health
  • Identify groups of women at high risk for infant health problems
  • Measure progress in reducing negative pregnancy outcomes on a statewide and nationwide basis
  • Obtain data for the Title V Block Grant needs assessment
  • Support legislative proposals
  • Inform communities about the prevalence of regional prenatal behaviors.

What are typical Alabama mothers saying about PRAMS?

"Thank you for this survey! I hope this helps mothers or expecting mothers receive awareness of proper prenatal care!"

"I had a normal pregnancy and I now have a beautiful Baby Boy. I hope this helps. God Bless! & Roll Tide."

"Thank you for checking on us."

"Happy to be a part of this survey."

"Please contact me if more info is needed. I’d be more than happy to help!"

"I had PID, was told 40-60% can’t get pregnant. My baby is my miracle baby. I’m very blessed."

"[Hospital] took excellent care of us both. They were very supportive of breastfeeding and provided great support, even while I was in ICU recovering."

"Breastfeeding is not pushed and supported enough in hospitals, but would be better introduced in the OB office."

"I had three previous miscarriages before my son was born. We found out much of my problem was hypothyroidism--I wish I had known this could cause such problems earlier, it would have saved me and my husband a lot of heartache."

"Motherhood and breastfeeding classes at [hospital] were very helpful."

"I have learned a lot getting support from a Facebook group dedicated to exclusive breastfeeding. I will probably breastfeed longer because of this group."

"[Insurance] has a program to support pregnant mothers where I spoke with a nurse several times during/after pregnancy and I appreciated their support."

Rewards and Incentives

To comply with national privacy in healthcare laws, our mothers must be chosen at random from reported births. The samples are sent to us monthly from the Center for Health Statistics. Not every mother will receive a survey, but those who do receive one and return it may choose one of four gifts as a token of our appreciation. Those items are a package of diapers (size 3 or 4), an insulated cooler, a six-piece manicure set, or a digital thermometer. Each mother automatically receives a branded pen and a nail file in their initial survey packet.

Page last updated: January 30, 2024