Understanding and improving the communication of risk relating to pregnancy
Research and engagement
Workshop on pregnancy and risk
In 2017, bpas hosted a workshop which brought together stakeholders interested in women’s sexual and reproductive health to discuss the impact of public health messages on women’s experiences of pregnancy. The group recognised that information and conversations about decisions in pregnancy can provide an invaluable guide to aid women’s decision-making. Many felt that current approaches are not doing enough to protect women’s autonomy in decision-making, and that women are not getting all the information they need to allow them to weigh up and evaluate different sorts of risks.
Stakeholders also tended to feel that not enough attention is being paid to the possible negative impact of risk messages. Public health messages directed towards women, whilst important and vital, may be inadvertently under-emphasising the impact of a woman’s surroundings, social networks, and the availability of health services on her pregnancy.
In summary, these problems may be undermining the effectiveness and credibility of public health messaging, and stakeholders recommended research be undertaken which draws on women’s experiences of risk messages relating to pregnancy.