Maternal Consistency in Recalling Prenatal Experiences at 6 Months and 8 Years Postnatal

Amanda M. Ramos, Kristine Marceau, Jenae M. Neiderhiser, Marielena De Araujo-Greecher, Misaki N. Natsuaki, Leslie D. Leve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective:Mothers are known to be reliable reporters of smoking during pregnancy, type of delivery, and birth weight when compared with medical records. Few studies have considered whether the timing of retrospective collection affects the mother's retrospective self-report. We examined the consistency of maternal retrospective recall of prenatal experiences, behaviors, and basic birth outcomes between 6 months and 8 years postpartum.Method:We examined 117 mothers (62% White, 44% living in a committed relationship, median high school education) from the Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS). EGDS is a longitudinal adoption study that includes birth mothers of children born between 2003 and 2009 who were involved in a domestic adoption. Using the modified life history calendar and a pregnancy screener, mothers reported on their prenatal health behaviors, prenatal substance use, and labor and delivery at 6 months and 8 years postpartum. Cohen κ was calculated to examine consistency, and χ2 tests were used to test differences by parity and maternal education.Results:Mothers' recall was very good for recall of the type of delivery and good for smoking during pregnancy, medicine used for labor induction, and specific medical problems (i.e., pre-eclampsia, sexually transmitted infections, and kidney infections). Recall consistency was poor for illicit drug use, specific prenatal tests performed (i.e., amniocentesis and emergency room visits), and using drugs other than an epidural during delivery.Conclusion:This study provides support for using retrospective collection of maternal self-report on some prenatal experiences up to 8 years postpartum and offers a potential way to more accurately collect self-reported prenatal experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-705
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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