Mom-to-Mom: A Program to Mentor and Support Pregnant Women Whose Spouses are Deployed to the Combat Zone

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:55 AM

Teresa W. Ryan, DNS
81st MDG, United States Air Force, Biloxi, MS
Karen L. Weis, PhD
School of Nursing, Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will list characteristics that have been identified as positiviely influencing maternal prenatal psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe interventions that support expectant women in their pregnancies while their military husbands are deployed to combat locations.

Purpose: For all women, maternal psychosocial adaptation occurs throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period. Researchers studying non-military pregnant women have demonstrated that support from a role model provides information and validation for the changes the gravida experiences prenatally and postnatally. Researchers have only begun to study the effects of prenatal psychosocial adaptation in women within the military setting. Weis, Lederman, Lilly & Schaffer (2008) found gravidas having deployed military husbands had greater conflict with their prenatal maternal adaptation (pregnancy acceptance and identifying with their maternal role) than pregnant military wives without deployed husbands.

Methods: This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mentors Offering Maternal Support (MOMS) program in promoting maternal fetal attachment, maternal adaptation to pregnancy, self-esteem, and perceived community support in women within a military environment. A randomized, controlled, repeated measured design pilot study compared two groups of pregnant military wives, a control group receiving standard prenatal care and an intervention group receiving a structured 8-week MOMS program.  Sixty-five military wives in their first trimester of pregnancy completed all aspects of the study. Women randomized to the MOMS program received eight structured classes starting in the first trimester of pregnancy and occurring every-other week until the third trimester.  Outcome measures were obtained in each trimester.  The women in the control group received usual prenatal care.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for any of the outcome variables.  


Conclusion: There were two statistically significant results for the interaction of the amount of contact the women had with their deployed husbands and group assignment for the variables of Relationship with Husband scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Inventory.