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J Reprod Med. 2007 Oct;52(10):901-6.

Partner deployment and stress in pregnant women.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine, USA.



To determine if having a partner deployed in the military during wartime increased the stress levels in pregnant women and to determine predictors of reporting higher stress.


A cross-sectional survey was administered to all pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune from January to May 2005.


Of the 525 surveys distributed, 463 (88.2%) were returned. Women with deployed partners more often reported higher stress levels than those with homeland partners (39.6% and 24.2%, respectively; p < 0.01). Logistic regression analysis revealed that having a partner deployed (OR 1.89, 95%; CI 1.00-3.57; p = 0.04), being active duty (OR 2.64, 95%; CI 1.43-4.87; p < 0.01), advanced gestational age (OR 1.04, 95% CI; 1.00-1.07; p = 0.03) and having >1 child at home (OR 2.30, 95%; CI 1.12-4.73; p = 0.02) all predicted higher stress reporting. Having a support person present was protective against stress (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.20-0.78; p < 0.01).


Active-duty women, women with deployed partners, women who are further along in pregnancy, women who have >1 child at home and those who lack a support person are at high risk of reporting increased stress levels in pregnancy. Sufficient support must be given to these women to optimize prenatal care.

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