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Primigravid and Multigravid Women: Prenatal Perspectives

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A paucity of prenatal data is available concerning prenatal experiences of primigravid women compared with those of multigravid women. Therefore, the objectives of this study were twofold: to compare prenatal personal (demographic and other descriptive elements, including self-esteem) and psychosocial variables (maternal-fetal attachment, marital satisfaction) and to describe perceived pregnancy experiences for both primigravid and multigravid women. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a descriptive mixed-methods design. The data were part of a larger, longitudinal study focused on adjustment to parenthood in military and civilian couples. Married pregnant women who resided on the east and west coasts of the United States were recruited from prenatal care facilities. Participants included 50 pregnant primigravid and 50 multigravid married women recruited during the last trimester of a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. The main outcome measures included personal and psychosocial variables (demographics, self-esteem, maternal-fetal attachment, marital satisfaction) and perceived pregnancy experiences. Multigravid women had significantly lower levels of maternal-fetal attachment (p < .00) and marital satisfaction (p < .00) than did primigravid women during their third trimester of pregnancy. The pregnant women's responses clearly reveal that unique and distinct differences exist between the needs of primigravid women and those of multigravid women. Innovative prenatal educational interventions tailored to meet the distinct needs of primigravid and multigravid women are suggested.
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Keywords: maternal role transition; multigravid women; pregnancy; prenatal education; prenatal psychosocial experiences; primigravid women

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2007

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