Friday, November 17, 2006

A Quarter of Scottish Births Were Unintended Pregnancies

Quarter of Scots babies are 'happy accidents'

PERCHED on the edge of the bath in the cottage she shared with her boyfriend, Eve McAlpine watched the tiny blue line on the home-pregnancy kit slowly appear. The line telling her she was pregnant for the first time merely confirmed her suspicions, but nonetheless it was only then that she realized her carefree existence would soon be over.
. . .
Although her pregnancy may have been a surprise, her story is far from unusual: a new study published in medical journal the Lancet today reveals that one in three babies born in Scotland is the result of a pregnancy that was not "clearly intended".

Researchers questioned almost 3,000 women ranging in age from 15 to 44 attending an Edinburgh hospital for pre-birth care, as well as 810 women seeking abortions.

They found that a quarter of the mothers-to-be were ambivalent about their intention to become pregnant. But a tenth of pregnancies were totally unplanned. In fact, 40 of the women questioned who chose to carry on with their pregnancy had actually taken emergency contraception on the suspicion they had conceived.
. . .
For the majority of the group, the news was looked upon as more of a "happy accident" rather than a misfortune.

"There is never a perfect time to have a baby and often couples put it off because of work, holidays or other commitments," Prof Glasier said.

"Starting a family or having another baby is such a huge decision for women. Sometimes it is easier to let the decision be taken for you - and one way is to be careless with contraception."
. . .
However, for women who really don't want to get pregnant, she suggests the message is: Get better at using contraception.

The study of almost 4,000 Scottish women published in The Lancet found that:

  • A third of pregnancies destined to end in childbirth were not "clearly"
  • A tenth were totally unintended.
  • A quarter of women were ambivalent about their intention to get

Holidays? As in vacations? It seems odd that couples who could not make the positive decision to become parents are about to raise 25% of the next generation of Scotts. I think I'll stick with that last piece of advice.

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