Maternal support in the delivery room and birthweight among African-American women

J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 Feb;96(2):187-95.


Objectives: We performed a hospital-based case control study of African-American mothers to explore the relationship between maternal support by a significant other in the delivery room and very low birthweight (VLBW).

Methods: We administered a structured questionnaire to mothers of VLBW (less than 1,500 g; N=104) and normal birthweight (greater or equal to 2,500 g; N=208) infants.

Results: The odds ratio for VLBW comparing women without social support in the delivery room to those with a companion was 3.5 (2.1-5.8). Several traditional risk factors were not associated with VLBW, but older maternal age and perceived racial discrimination were.

Conclusions: Maternal support in the delivery room or factors closely associated with it significantly decreases the odds of delivering a VLBW infant for African-American women.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Support*