Is perceived partner pregnancy intention associated
withmaternal prenatal and postpartumwell-being?
Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public
Health, University of Minnesota, Canada
Background: While ‘pregnancy intention’ is often crudely assessed
by a question concerning satisfaction with pregnancy timing, data
with this measure support that unintended and unwanted
pregnancies are associated with adverse infant and maternal health
outcomes. Few studies have examined similar associations with
perceived paternal intention.
Methods: We examined data from Minnesota’s (USA) Pregnancy
Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), involving 7266
women surveyed 2–4 months after delivery of a live-born between
2004 and 2008. We used weighted multivariate logistic regression
to examine the associations of perceived partner intention with
maternal demographics, as well as prenatal and postpartum
behaviors and experiences.
Results: Thirty-seven percent of recent mothers reported that
their pregnancies were unintended by their partners. Compared to
those who perceived their partners intended the pregnancy, these
mothers were signiﬁcantly (P < 0.01) more likely to report that
they themselves did not intend the pregnancy, smoked prenatally,
experienced intimate partner violence, experienced postpartum
depressive symptoms and had prenatal mood problems. They
were less likely to report that they received adequate prenatal,
postpartum or well-woman care; father helped with infant care; or
that they used contraceptives in the postpartum.
Conclusions: In this population-based sample, more than one-
third reported their partner did not intend their recent pregnancy.
We cannot validate whether maternal report of perceived paternal
intention is accurate, but we also have no reason to doubt it.
Irrespective of the objectivity of this measure, perceived partner
pregnancy intention is an independent indicator of a variety of
maternal and infant risk markers.