Maternal Stressors during Prolonged Antepartum Hospitalization Following Transfer for Maternal-Fetal Indications

Nora M. Doyle, Manju Monga, Marcia Kerr, Lisa M. Hollier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Our objective was to identify stressors in women requiring prolonged hospitalization following maternal-fetal transfer to a tertiary care center. Using a modified version of the previously validated Antepartum Hospital Stressors Inventory (AHSI), all women transferred to our university-based maternal-fetal service between May 2000 and June 2002 and hospitalized for greater than 1 month completed a semi-structured interview. The AHSI uses Likert scales to evaluate environment, health factors, communication with health care providers, family separation, self-image, and emotional and family status issues as stressors. Nine consecutive women met inclusion criteria and all agreed to participate. Median maternal age was 27 years (range 19 to 33), and gestational age at transfer was 25 weeks (range 20 to 31). Parity ranged from 0 to 3 and educational level ranged from grade 2 to graduate degrees. The women were from Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian racial-ethnic backgrounds; all were married. Median distance from transferring hospital was 20 miles (range 10 to 275 miles). All patients reported separation from family, sleeping alone, anxiety about the pregnancy and the baby's health, boredom, and eating hospital meals as the greatest stressors. Stress was relieved in all women by ultrasounds, family members staying in the room, cable television, and internet access. Routine beauty maintenance, massage, physical therapy, and continued contact with referring physician were also cited as stress alleviators. Following maternal-fetal transfer, prolonged antepartum hospitalization is associated with stress that may be alleviated by access to the outside world via television and the internet, liberal visitation, access to health and beauty maintenance, and ongoing contact with the referring physician.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Antepartum
  • Hospitalization
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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