What does Southern Oregon think about the importance of nutrition during and after pregnancy? The Perinatal Task Force in Southern Oregon hosted an online community listening survey to find out!

The Perinatal Task Force (PNTF) is made up of individuals and organizations who care about the health and well-being of people during the perinatal period — before, during, and after pregnancy. The task force is convened by the Healthy Start of Southern Oregon program, which is facilitated by the Health Care Coalition of Southern Oregon.

This group decided that in the beginning of 2024, they would focus their efforts on the topic of nutrition. The first step was asking the perinatal population what they thought about nutrition in general, and what they needed to be their healthiest selves.

Healthy Start staff first met with the Oregon State Extension Nutrition Hub to discuss ideas for what we most wanted to ask the community about their interests, knowledge, and access to nutrition. Then, we took the draft community listening survey to the PNTF in Douglas and Josephine Counties for the final review, and decided to focus on:

  • Nutrition education
  • Access to healthy foods
  • Prenatal vitamins

The survey was officially launched at the start of 2024 and the PNTF members promoted it to their clients and on social media consistently for six weeks to ensure plenty of time to gather responses. When the survey closed in mid-February, we received 170 total responses. After removing those that were out of the area or did not complete the entire survey, we were left with 140 responses. This was by far the most responses we have ever received from a community listening survey.

People were excited to share their thoughts, as 98% responded that the topic of nutrition is important to them.

When provided a list of potential factors that people thought were most helpful when making food at home for themselves and their families, the majority chose: budget/cost, nutritional quality, and time spent to cook the meal.

The PNTF reviewed the survey results and chose three main things to focus on as a collective:

  • The first is how to introduce prenatal vitamins before pregnancy, as over half the respondents reported learning about the importance of prenatal vitamins after they were pregnant.
  • The second is how to improve basic nutrition education for families.
  • And lastly, how to increase access to food programs for new and expecting parents.

Over the next several months, the PNTF will work on creating solutions to address these three focus areas. Stay tuned to learn more! And if you’re interested in joining the Perinatal Task Force or lending your voice to these survey findings, we invite you to RSVP for one of our upcoming PNTF virtual meetings.


Findings from the Community Listening Survey on Nutrition