Facing Uncertainty on Two Fronts: The Experience of Being Pregnant While One's Husband is Deployed
Stress in Pregnancy
Depression in Pregnancy
AdvisorBerg, Judith A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis qualitative descriptive study investigated the unique and specific impact of being pregnant while one's husband was deployed to a combat zone. Three specific aims were used to address the study objectives 1) Describe the experience of being pregnant while one's husband is deployed 2) Describe the women's experiences with health-care providers 3) Describe the types of support women sought or had access to during pregnancy. Participants were 16 women who had been pregnant while their husbands were deployed for greater than 30 days from 2004-2014, with no prior personal history of being deployed. Participants completed demographic questionnaires on their pregnancy course, and their husband's military and deployment history. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with each participant individually. Content and matrix analysis were utilized to explore the study aims. The Stress and Coping Model by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) provided the theoretical framework for this study. Communication was an important part of receiving support from the husband and daily communication (n=4, 25%) was associated with more problem-based coping (75%) and feelings of emotional support from the husband (38%). Six participants stated a history of preterm labor or birth, and most of those participants used emotion-based coping predominantly (57%). Participants who perceived that their husbands experienced significant danger were more likely to use emotion-based coping (56%). Participants overall had more positive interactions with certified nurse midwives (76%) and civilian obstetric physicians (77%), and reported more negative interactions with military obstetric providers (87%). Primiparous participants reported that 61% of all experiences with providers were positive while multiparous participants were more likely to have negative (66%) or mixed (6%) experiences. Support systems sought or accessed were different for officer and enlisted wives as well as for different ages. The wives of enlisted soldiers were more likely to not participate, or have an unfavorable view (52%) of the FRGs. Whereas, the wives of officers felt more support and involvement (69%). Wives who were 29-years-old or less sought out more support from friends/co-workers (33%) than the 30-years-old or older group (19%). The 30-years-old or older group was more likely to have sought support from family (50%) versus the 29-years-old or younger group (40%). The difference in support sought or accessed from the FRG between the two age groups was much less significant (28% for ≤ 29-years old versus 31% for ≥ 30-years old). The findings from this study could be adapted to create a screening tool that would alert providers to those pregnant women who might need specific resources or social support.
Degree ProgramGraduate College