Perinatal activities and symptoms frequency and severity

  • Marijke Van Kampen
  • Kristin Goen
  • Nele Devoogdt
  • Grace Dorey
  • Marie-Josee Decoster



The first aim is to present descript ive non-medical data on perinatal variables. The second is to investigate the frequency and severity of symptoms during and after pregnancy.

Methods :

This retrospective cohort study used a self-designed questionnaire consisting of 52 items among 489 puerperae

Main outcome measures:

Perinatal data and symptoms during pregnancy at 6 months postpartum.


In preparation for their pregnancy, 52% were referred to a physiotherapist. Before pregnancy, 18% smoked, 61% of whom quit smoking during pregnancy. In relation to the place of birth, 88% stayed 5 to 7 days in hospital. During the first stage of labour, 59% used tools like bath or ball. The supine position was the most popular posture during labour. The prevalence of breast-feeding was 80%. Urgency, mood disorders and backache were the most frequent symptoms during pregnancy. Painful breasts, mood disorders, backache and urinary incontinence were the most frequent symptoms after pregnancy. Pelvic girdle pain was the most distressing symptom before and after birth. Urinary incontinence, backache and mood disorders still showed high frequencies at 4 to 6 months postpartum (13%, 22% and 19% respectively).


This study draws attention to non-medical perinatal data like pregnancy preparation, smoking habits, place of birth, time spent in the maternity hospital, posture and tools used during labour and breast-feeding. Urgency, mood disorders and backache were the most frequent symptoms during pregnancy. Painful breasts, mood disorders and backache were the most frequent symptoms after pregnancy.



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