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.