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Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

What is PRAMS?

PRAMS (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) is a joint research project between the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its purpose is to find out why some babies are born healthy and others are not. To do this, new mothers are asked about their behaviors and experiences around the time of their pregnancy. Getting information from mothers will help the Bureau of Family Health learn more about ways to improve the health of future mothers and babies in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania entered into a cooperative agreement with the CDC in April 2006 and began conducting surveys in June 2007.

Currently, 39 states and New York City participate in PRAMS.

How are women chosen to participate in PRAMS?

Names are picked by chance, like in a lottery, from the state birth certificate registry. Only about 1,700 women are chosen each year to help the Bureau of Family Health in this study. Surveys are sent out on a monthly basis. If you receive a PRAMS survey in the mail, please fill out the survey and return it in the postage paid envelope.

How will the PRAMS information be used?

PRAMS data will be used to assess perinatal health, pregnancy programs, and aid in the development of new programs designed to improve the outcomes of high-risk pregnancies. All answers given on the questionnaires will be grouped together to give us information on Pennsylvania's mothers and babies. All answers are kept private and no reports can be traced backed to the specific mothers who responded to the survey.

To request Pennsylvania PRAMS Data:

Please follow the instructions in the Pennsylvania PRAMS Data Request Process to request Pennsylvania PRAMS data.

Pennsylvania PRAMS Aggregate Data Request Form

For more PRAMS information:

Visit the CDC PRAMS website or contact the Pennsylvania PRAMS Coordinator at:717-346-3000 or

Pennsylvania PRAMS Surveys:

Phase 8 (2016-present)                

Phase 8 (2016-present)                         

Phone Numbers to Call for Help:

  • 1-800-986-BABY for information on finding a doctor, getting healthcare coverage, immunizations, tests for baby, breastfeeding.
  • 1-877-724-3258 for information on a variety of adult, child and newborn health issues.     
  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW for information on smoking cessation services available to Pennsylvania residents.
  • 1-800-WIC-WINS to obtain supplemental foods, nutrition education and breast feeding information.
  • 1-800-986-4550 for information on services available for children with special needs.
  • 1-800-4-A-CHILD 24-hour crisis hotline to offer support, information and referrals on coping with a crying baby and preventing child abuse.