Our volume Pregnancy in Hungary - Report on the first wave of the Cohort '18 - Growing up in Hungary, which describes the main results of the first wave of data collection of our research program, has been published and can be downloaded online.

A total of 8,287 expecting respondents joined the Cohort ’18 study. We are grateful to them and to the 721 health visitors and 64 senior health visitors who contributed to the study. The sampling of the Cohort ’18 was based on the health visitor districts: the initial sample included 600 districts, which in many respects depict the total population of the country, ensuring the representativeness of the research and the generalizability of the results obtained. We asked each expectant mother to participate in the study, of those who were in overseen by the health visitors in these districts and whose child was expected to be born within the given period.

The structure of the volume is as follows. First, we present the characteristics and life circumstances of the narrow family of the unborn child, and then of the wider family. We focus not only on family structure, but also on the family’s relationships, lifestyle and the values that will go to make up the environment of the (as yet unborn) child. The description of the family background is followed by a detailed presentation of the place of residence and living conditions. The lives and the development of children are greatly influenced by the environment in which they grow up: in addition to the characteristics of the type of settlement and the housing of the family, we deal separately with its financial circumstances and provisions. As well as a number of objective aspects and indicators, we also look at how mothers assess their own living conditions. In the final section, we collate the findings related to the pregnancy itself. We build up a picture of the lifestyle, mental and physical health of pregnant women in Hungary, and we also examine the use of the main pillars of the Hungarian pregnancy care system.

A special feature of the volume is that it is coloured by drawings of children associated with the Real Pearl Foundation. The Real Pearl Foundation was founded in 1999 under the leadership of Nóra L. Ritók. Initially, it reached the disadvantaged children of Berettyóújfalu and its region through art education. After several years of experience, visual education was complemented by a kind of disadvantage-compensating methodology, which helped children to improve their skills in creative, and in other subjects. Finally, the focus on the development of social skills to help children integrate completed the foundation’s toolkit. Today, art education has grown into a complex development program, an opportunity-creating strategy in which education, family care and community development, and institutional cooperation are the three decisive pillars of support.