Data, Research and Vital Statistics

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Cover of website survey report

U.S. CDC PRAMS Select Indicators

What is PRAMS? 

The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) is a population health surveillance system administered jointly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Data, Research, and Vital Statistics Office. The goal of PRAMS is to improve the health of birthing people and infants by collecting information on why some babies are born healthy and some are not. Each month, 100-130 Maine residents who recently gave birth in Maine are randomly picked from the birth certificate registry. They are mailed a confidential questionnaire that asks about experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. Almost all states participate in PRAMS and PRAMS covers about 81%of U.S. Births. Maine was one of the first states to participate in PRAMS and has participated since 1987.

How are PRAMS Data Used? 

Data collected by PRAMS are used by public health officials, researchers, and community organizations to help identify health disparities, identify public health priorities, monitor population health and changes in health status, and measure progress towards improving the health of birthing people and infants.

What are Limitations to PRAMS Data?

Maine PRAMS has a small sample size, about 1,300-1,500 people are selected to participate each year and about 50%-60% respond. The U.S. CDC weights the data to be representative of Maine’s birthing population, however, a small sample size can make data unreliable when stratified by certain subgroups, such as race and county of residence. Adding to this, Maine is one of the most racially homogenous states in the U.S. In Maine in 2020, the birthing population eligible to be sampled for PRAMS was 88.1% White, 4.5% Black, 3% multiracial or other race, 2.2% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian/Pacific Islander, and .8% American Indian (PRAMS birth certificate data). This presents challenges when disaggregating data by race as single-year data often needs to be suppressed for reliability concerns for races other than white.

What Topics Does PRAMS Cover?

PRAMS collects information on the experiences around the time of pregnancy that are not available through other data sources. The topics below are examples of the topics found on the current PRAMS survey. PRAMS has also added time limited supplements to the survey that focus on additional topics. See Surveys for all questionnaires and supplements Maine has implemented.

  • Birth Control
  • Breastfeeding
  • Domestic Violence
  • Feelings about pregnancy
  • Food insecurity
  • Health and mental health
  • Health insurance 
  • Hospital practices 
  • Lead poisoning risk
  • Oral health
  • Prenatal and postpartum care
  • Sleep environment 
  • Smoking
  • Stressful events
  • Substance use
  • WIC participation 

How Can I Request PRAMS Data?

Select PRAMS indicators can be found on the PRAMS Dashboard and PRAMS Data Tables. To request additional data, please contact Maine PRAMS directly at: or the Maine PRAMS Project Coordinator, Emily Gerety, at: Please make sure to also complete this form

When making your request, please share how the data will be used, the indicators and years needed (and if combining multiple years), and any stratifiers (such as race, income, education etc.) you would like. 

For further information, please contact:
Emily Gerety, Maine PRAMS Coordinator
220 Capitol Street, 11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Voice: (207) 287-5469
FAX: (207) 287- 5470