The Influence of Antenatal Partner Support on Pregnancy Outcomesedit
While there has been considerable attention given to the multitude of maternal factors that contribute to perinatal conditions and poor birth outcomes, few studies have aimed to understand the impact of fathers or partners. We examined associations of antenatal partner support with psychological variables, smoking behavior, and pregnancy outcomes in two socioeconomically distinct prebirth cohorts. Data were from 1764 women recruited from an urban-suburban group practice (Project Viva) and 877 women from urban community health centers (Project ACCESS), both in the Boston area. Antenatal partner support was assessed by the Turner Support Scale. Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses determined the impact of low antenatal partner support on the outcomes of interest. In early pregnancy, 6.4% of Viva and 23.0% of ACCESS participants reported low partner support. After adjustment, low partner support was cross-sectionally associated with high pregnancy-related anxiety in both cohorts (Viva AOR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0-3.4 and ACCESS AOR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.3) and with depression in ACCESS (AOR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.3). In Viva, low partner support was also related to depression mid-pregnancy (AOR 3.1; 95% CI: 1.7-5.7) and to smoking (AOR 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3-3.8). Birth weight, gestational age, and fetal growth were not associated with partner support. This study of two economically and ethnically distinct cohorts in the Boston area highlights higher levels of antenatal anxiety, depression, and smoking among pregnant women who report low partner support. Partner support may be an important and potentially modifiable target for interventions to improve pregnancy outcomes.