Researchers from The University of Western Australia want to know how women use medication, their beliefs about medication safety and where they seek out information during pregnancy.
The team from the UWA School of Population and Global Health has launched an online survey targeting women in Australia who have been pregnant in the past 12 months and are over the age of 18.
The results will provide important information about the use of medications during pregnancy.
Previous studies have included only small numbers of Australian women and have not investigated beliefs about medication use or sources of information during pregnancy.
The survey asks women about their experiences with prescription and over-the-counter medications during pregnancy, but women who have not used any medications are also encouraged to participate.
Lead investigator, Dr Erin Kelty said the survey’s insights into women’s behaviour and views would support health experts in providing pregnant women with access to safe medications when they required them.
“The study has the potential to help health professionals guide pregnant women to reliable and commonly sought-after information about medication safety in pregnancy,” Dr Kelty said.
Dr Kelty said the team was hoping to understand the types and prevalence of medications used as well as women’s attitudes about medication use in pregnancy.
“The use of medications in pregnancy is common, but the effect can range from completely benign to catastrophic”, Dr Kelty said.
“This study will provide us with a better understanding of what proportions of medications being used during pregnancy are considered safe and unsafe, and can help guide future research into the area.”
The survey is anonymous and takes five to 10 minutes to complete online. It will remain open until the end of September.