Healthy Behaviors and Sources of Health Information Among Low-Income Pregnant Women


  • Lynne Porter Lewallen, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

* Lynne Porter Lewallen, UNCG School of Nursing, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170. E-mail:


Abstract  This article addresses responses from two open-ended questions, describing the healthy behaviors and sources of health information in 150 low-income pregnant women. Data for this exploratory study were collected as part of a larger descriptive correlational study. Qualitative content analysis was used in the analysis. One hundred fifty English-speaking pregnant women aged 18 and over were interviewed at a public prenatal clinic in the Southeastern United States at their first prenatal visit.

Health behaviors were placed into seven mutually exclusive categories: food-related behaviors, substance-related behavior, exercise/rest/activity, self-awareness/appearance, learning, focus on baby, and no specific behaviors. Sources of information questions were placed into seven mutually exclusive categories: family, health personnel, reading, hearing, other people, self-intuitive, and no response.

Low-income pregnant women are aware of healthy behaviors and report practicing them during their pregnancies. Because family members are a common source of information for health practices, they should be included in health education efforts.