Objective: To determine whether having a partner deployed during wartime increased the stress levels in pregnant women and altered the attitudes toward pregnancy or changed birth outcomes. Methods: Cross-sectional survey of all postpartum women at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. The anonymous survey was administered from May to July 2003. Results: Ninety-five surveys were collected. Fewer patients reported that their partner was deployed (41.1%) than not deployed (58.9%). Women with deployed partners gave birth to larger babies (3526.5 g vs. 3248.7 g, p = 0.016). No difference was seen in the gestational age at delivery, percentage with vaginal delivery, average number of children at home, self-reported stress, or reported weight gain during pregnancy. Women with partners deployed more often reported changed eating habits (56.4% vs. 8.0%, p < 0.001). Those with a deployed partner more often reported that media coverage impacted their stress level (p = 0.003). Conclusions: Pregnant women with deployed partners gave birth to larger babies. They also more frequently report a change in eating habits and that media coverage impacted their stress level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health