Women's health and their childbearing expectations and outcomes: A population-based survey from Victoria, Australia

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Abstract

Context: Financial and employment concerns are commonly regarded as the most important factors determining Australian women's childbearing. However, little is known about the relationship between women's health and their childbearing.

Methods: We investigated the relationship between health and childbearing expectations and outcomes in a population-based sample of women living in Victoria, one Australian state (n = 569), recruited from the Australian Electoral Roll in 2005. Participants completed a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire.

Main Findings:Health problems were identified by many participants as a salient factor in their childbearing, and were often an obstacle that prevented them from achieving their ideal childbearing outcomes.

Conclusion: The results challenge the prevailing view that women's childbearing is mostly voluntary, and primarily based on financial considerations or career ambitions. To assist women in achieving their childbearing preferences, appropriate health care and policies are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366 - 373
Number of pages8
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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