The development of partnership after hypertensive diseases in pregnancy

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2015 Apr;28(6):649-53. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2014.927861. Epub 2014 Jun 30.


Objective: Hypertensive diseases in pregnancy (HDP) occur in 5-8% of all pregnancies and represent one of the most important causes of maternal and fetal morbidity. Even after a normal pregnancy/delivery adaptation to parenthood is a major challenge. However, a successful adjustment is important for future family health. As pregnancy complications may put additional strain on early parenthood, the current study investigated satisfaction with partnership including factors which determine (dis)satisfaction as well as separation rates after pregnancies complicated by HDP.

Methods: A total of 737 women after HDP and 624 matched-control women completed a self-administered questionnaire on psycho-social factors in the development of HDP. Free-text answers on satisfaction with partnership were analyzed by conceptual analysis.

Results: Women with HDP were significantly less often satisfied with their partnership than control women (76%/81.1%; p < 0.05). Women with preeclampsia were at higher risk for an unsatisfactory relationship than those with other manifestations of HDP. Common interests and aims could be identified as the most important reasons for a satisfying marital relationship in women with and without a diagnosis of HDP.

Conclusion: HDP represent an additional challenge in family adjustment. Adapted perinatal psycho-social support may help to facilitate the start into family life.

Keywords: Divorce rate; HELLP syndrome; family adjustment; gestational hypertension; preeclampsia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Divorce / psychology
  • Divorce / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / psychology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Spouses / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult