Sociodemographic characteristics of single unmarried mothers giving birth in a large tertiary care hospital in Israel

Haviva Sharan, Boris Kaplan, Jaqueline Sulkes, Paul Merlob*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: We examined sociodemographic characteristics of single unmarried mothers at delivery in a large maternity hospital in Israel. Methods: The study sample included all unmarried mothers who gave birth between April 1, 1999 and March 31, 2000 at Rabin Medical Center. The mothers were interviewed by social worker using a sociodemographic questionnaire covering: age, ethnic origin, education, occupation, income, and housing and living accommodations, with a focus on the detection of those who required social and economic support. Results: Single unmarried mothers accounted for 1.24% of the total population of new mothers during the study period at our center. Women were classified into three groups: never married-planned pregnancy; never married-unplanned pregnancy; and divorced/widowed-planned and unplanned pregnancy. Analysis by socioeconomic characteristics revealed that the never-married women with unplanned pregnancies were younger than the other two groups, originating mainly from the former Soviet Union, had a high school education, did not work, and had a low income (p = 0.001, 0.001, 0.001, 0.009, 0.002, 0.05, respectively). All three groups were referred to community social and medical services at discharge for further support. Conclusions: Single unmarried mothers, especially those with unplanned pregnancy, should be considered at high risk because of the known high mortality and morbidity of the offspring in infancy and their high rate of social problems in childhood. Thus should be given early social and psychological support with close follow-up throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Demographic
  • Infants
  • Single
  • Social
  • Unmarried


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