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Arizona Heath Department Surveys Moms About Being Pregnant

The Arizona Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to know what it’s like to be pregnant. 

Last month, the Arizona Department of Health, along with the CDC, started collecting data from new moms about their experiences before, during and after pregnancy. It’s called the Arizona Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, or PRAMS. Every month, about 200 randomly chosen new moms will be mailed a packet of questions.

"And they fill out information about all different aspects of their pregnancy… the intentionality of it, what kind of health effects did they experience, did they take prenatal vitamins, all the way through their delivery and postpartum," said Dr. Cara Christ of the Department of Health.

Christ says PRAMS exist other states, and here's what they're finding. 

"One of the things we heard was that women didn’t understand how important it was to be in good pre-conceptual health, so before you were thinking about getting pregnant, being in your best health possible. They also didn’t understand the importance of taking a prenatal vitamin with the appropriate amount of folate," Christ said.

PRAMS was developed in 1987. Arizona PRAMS started collecting data last month.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.