Many factors contribute to a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. These events in a woman’s life can be filled with many stressors; from bodily and hormonal changes to social factors, these stressors can impact the pregnancy outcome. Our postpartum survey shows that women with partners deployed deliver larger babies, and report more stress and changes in eating habits.
This survey sought to determine whether having a partner deployed during wartime increases the stress levels in pregnant women, alters attitudes toward pregnancy, or changes birth outcomes. A cross-sectional survey was carried out, which included all postpartum women at Naval Hospital Camp, Lejeune. This anonymised survey was administered from May to July 2003. Ninety-five responses to the survey were collected. The survey included questions relating to deployment, gestational age at delivery, birth weight, delivery method, average number of children at home, self-reported stress and weight gain during pregnancy. Survey data indicates that pregnant women with deployed partners give birth to larger babies. Survey participants also reported changes in eating habits and furthermore that media coverage impacted on their stress level.
Haas, D., and Pazdernik, L., 2006. "A Cross-Sectional Survey of Stressors for Postpartum Women during Wartime in a Military Medical Facility". Military Medicine. 171 (10),120-3.