Objective: Unplanned pregnancy is associated with psychosocial stress, post-partum depression, and future unplanned pregnancies. Our study describes how topics related to unplanned pregnancy were addressed with patients during the first prenatal visit. Methods: We audio-recorded and transcribed initial prenatal visits between 48 patients and 16 providers from a clinic serving racially diverse, lower-socio-economic patients. We conducted a fine-grained thematic analysis of cases in which the patient's pregnancy was unplanned. Results: Of the 48 patients, 35 (73%) had unplanned pregnancies. Twenty-nine visits for unplanned pregnancies (83%) included discussion of the patient's feelings about the pregnancy. Approximately half (51%) of the visits touched on partner or other types of social support. Six patients (17%) were offered referrals to counseling or social services. Only four visits (11%) touched on future birth control options. Conclusion: Most initial prenatal visits for unplanned pregnancies included discussion of patient feelings about the pregnancy. However, opportunities to discuss future birth control and for more in-depth follow-up regarding social support and psychological risks associated with unplanned pregnancy were typically missed. Practice implications: Obstetrics care providers should be cautious about making assumptions and should consider discussing pregnancy circumstances and psychosocial issues in more depth when treating patients facing unplanned pregnancy.
- Patient-provider relationship
- Prenatal care
ASJC Scopus subject areas