Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



The demographic characteristics of women who give birth are continually changing. Age, education, use of assisted reproductive technology, BMI before pregnancy, and weight gain during pregnancy are maternal factors that play a role in maternal and fetal health. Other factors including induction, route of delivery, calculated gestational age, and birthweight help determine and identify complications of pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to analyze trends of maternal demographics, risk factors, and birth outcomes associated with poor health outcomes. This research is a secondary analysis of Ohio Natality Statistical Files collected by the Ohio Department of Health, Center for Vital and Health Statistics. From this file, the study analyzed data of women who are residents of Montgomery County. Trends of maternal age, education, body mass index, infertility use, gestational weight gain, induction rates, C-section delivery rates, gestational age, and birthweight were examined. Chi-square calculations were conducted to test trend significance (P-value < .001). Significant trends this study examined were increases in overall induction rates (37%) and overall C-section rates (57%), and a decrease in non-induced women delivering vaginally (29%). As social norms and technology change, so do the factors that affect maternal and infant health. Results of this study will provide data to help assess what future interventions are needed to promote maternal and infant health. Such interventions could include preconception education, education on obstetric processes and their associated risks, and medical retraining.