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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018 Jul 27;18(1):309. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-1944-5.

Disaster in pregnancy: midwifery continuity positively impacts infant neurodevelopment, QF2011 study.

Author information

1
Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
2
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
3
School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
4
Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
5
Schizophrenia and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research, Douglas Mental Health Institute, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun, Quebec, H4H 1R3, Canada.
6
Schizophrenia and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research, Douglas Mental Health Institute, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun, Quebec, H4H 1R3, Canada. Suzanne.king@mcgill.ca.
7
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Suzanne.king@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research shows that continuity of midwifery carer in pregnancy improves maternal and neonatal outcomes. This study examines whether midwifery group practice (MGP) care during pregnancy affects infant neurodevelopment at 6-months of age compared to women receiving standard hospital maternity care (SC) in the context of a natural disaster.

METHODS:

This prospective cohort study included 115 women who were affected by a sudden-onset flood during pregnancy. They received one of two models of maternity care: MGP or SC. The women's flood-related objective stress, subjective reactions, and cognitive appraisal of the disaster were assessed at recruitment into the study. At 6-months postpartum they completed the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) on their infants' communication, fine and gross motor, problem solving, and personal-social skills.

RESULTS:

Greater maternal objective and subjective stress predicted worse infant outcomes. Even when controlling for maternal stress from the flood, infants of mothers who were in the MGP model of maternity care performed better than infants of mothers in SC on two of the five ASQ-3 domains (fine motor and problem solving) at 6-months of age. Furthermore, infants in the SC model were more likely to be identified as at risk for delayed development on these domains than infants in the MGP model of care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Continuity of midwifery care has positive effects on infant neurodevelopment when mothers experience disaster-related stress in pregnancy, with significantly better outcomes on two developmental domains at 6 months compared to infants whose mothers received standard hospital care.

KEYWORDS:

Infant development; Midwifery group practice; Prenatal maternal stress

PMID:
30053853
PMCID:
PMC6062998
DOI:
10.1186/s12884-018-1944-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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