Why is it important to map pregnancies in The Hague?

Compared to the national average, The Hague has more pregnancies with negative outcomes and pregnancies in vulnerable situations. Also, unintended pregnancies can take place in vulnerable situations or lead to the development of a vulnerable situation.  Midwives from The Hague believe that unintended pregnancies might occur twice as often in The Hague compared to the average in The Netherlands.

In this study we look at different factors to find out how intended a pregnancy is. Among other things, we ask about the use of contraceptives, the timing of the pregnancy and the desire to have children.

In the study, we will follow participants, with their permission, until 2 years after the end of the pregnancy. We have chosen to this because the first 1000 days, the period of the pregnancy and the two first years of life, have a large influence on someone’s health and wellbeing during their life and that of later generations.

Based on the results of the RISE UP study, we will improve care for pregnant people and their partners in The Hague.

In this part of the study we will map pregnancies in The Hague. In order to do this we have the following research questions:

  1. What proportion of pregnancies in The Hague is unintended?
  2. What are the protective factors and risk factors?
  3. What is the effect of an unintended (vulnerable) pregnancy on the health of the parent(s) (and child)?

To answer these questions it is important that we gather information about all pregnancies in The Hague, both intended and unintended.

For the study we will use two data collection methods. Participants of the study will fill out a survey and we will ask if we can look at information about them and their health. If they consent to this, we can connect those data to their answers in the survey. This way, we can look at the health outcomes of the participants. Additionally, we will try to find connections between the answers in the survey and their health outcomes.

First, we performed a small study, a pilot. Based on this study, we improved the survey. Participants can fill out the survey in Dutch, English, Turkish, Arabic, Mandarin, Polish and Bulgarian.

We will collect information through the survey in 2022 and 2023. Subsequently, we will follow the participant up until two years after the end of the pregnancy, if they give consent for this.

In the survey we ask questions about the following subjects:

Are you or do you know someone who:

  • Speaks Dutch, Turkish, Arabic, Mandarin, Polish, Bulgarian or English, and
  • Lives in The Hague and is no more than 28 weeks pregnant or has terminated a pregnancy within the past 3 months, or;
  • Is (ex-)partner of someone who lives in The Hague and is no more than 28 weeks pregnant or has terminated a pregnancy within the past 3 months

Then you can participate in our study! The following video, with subtitles, provides more information:

Here is a link to the information sheet, on which the study and the pros and cons of participating are explained in more detail.

If you would like more information, have questions or want to sign up to participate, please contact us through riseup@lumc.nl  or call us at +31(0)615677834.

At several time points we will interview around 20 people about their unintended pregnancy: at the beginning of the pregnancy, after the delivery or abortion, and a year after the delivery or abortion. Further, we would like to interview their (ex-)partners as well.

When we have some results from the interviews and surveys, we will also interview around 10 care workers from the medical and social domain.

In the interviews we will take a life course perspective. We are curious about what someone’s life has been like and how they would place their current situation in that context. Furthermore, we are interested in themes surrounding family, care, sex, contraceptives, and pregnancies.

The RISE UP study has received a grant from ZonMw. We are also part of the ZonMw learning network on unintended pregnancy and vulnerable (young) parenthood.

To achieve our goal, we work together with several partners in The Hague. 

Here is an overview of our partners: