Montana Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System


The Montana Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a random, population-based survey of Montana moms about maternal behaviors and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. The project is a collaborative effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is administered through the Montana DPHHS Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Section. Our purpose is to collect high-quality data that is representative of Montana mothers and babies. To do this, our survey asks new mothers questions about their behaviors and experiences around the time of their pregnancy.

Montana PRAMS began data collection in 2017 with the Phase 8 questionnaire. Every few years the questionnaire is revised to address current and important issues for mothers and newborns, and a new Phase begins. The Phase 9 questionnaire is scheduled to start in 2023.

PRAMS is primarily a mail surveillance project with telephone follow-up of non-responders. Participants are surveyed by a mailed questionnaire 3 months after giving birth, which is followed up by reminder mailings and a telephone interview if no response is received from the mailed surveys.

In 2021 Montana will sample approximately 2,100 new mothers that have given birth to a live-born infant. From the aggregate of all births known to Montana Vital Statistics, a complex sampling strategy has been designed to draw random samples.

The 2021 sampling method was designed to oversample American Indian/Alaska Native mothers and mothers living in rural counties. The 2021 sampling stratum are:

  • Stratum 1: American Indian / Alaska Native
  • Stratum 2: Non-American Indian / Alaska Native living in Noncore counties
  • Stratum 3: Non-American Indian / Alaska Native living in Small-Metro or Micropolitan counties

How was I chosen to participate in PRAMS?

Your name was picked by chance, like in a lottery, from the state birth certificate registry. You are one of a small number of women who were chosen to help us in this study.

Is it really important that I answer these questions?

Yes! Because of the small number of mothers picked, it is important to have everyone’s answers. Every pregnancy is different. To get a better picture of overall health of mothers and babies in Montana, we need each mother selected to answer the questions. From the information you give us, we may be able to improve health care for women and children in Montana.

Will my answers be kept private?

Yes – all answers are kept completely private to the extent permitted by law. All answers given on the questionnaires will be grouped together to give us information on Montana mothers of new babies. In reports from this survey, no woman will be identified by name.

Why is the University of Alabama calling me?

Montana DPHHS is not able to conduct the phone portion of the survey internally. The University of Alabama, Birmingham was selected to help with the phone surveys based on their many years of experience working with PRAMS and their dedication to collecting high quality data.

What if I want to ask more questions about PRAMS?

Please call our PRAMS Principal Investigator, Miriam Naiman-Sessions, directly at 406-444-1921 or at our toll-free number, 1-800-762-9891. We will be happy to answer any other questions you may have about PRAMS.

Montana has 2017 - 2019 data available for analysis. To request data and analysis, please contact our PRAMS Epidemiologist, Carrie Jo Riordan, directly at