Prenatal care: associations with prenatal depressive symptoms and social support in low-income urban women

Abbey C. Sidebottom, Wendy L. Hellerstedt, Patricia A. Harrison, Rhonda J. Jones-Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We examined associations of depressive symptoms and social support with late and inadequate prenatal care in a low-income urban population. The sample was prenatal care patients at five community health centers. Measures of depressive symptoms, social support, and covariates were collected at prenatal care entry. Prenatal care entry and adequacy came from birth certificates. We examined outcomes of late prenatal care and less than adequate care in multivariable models. Among 2341 study participants, 16% had elevated depressive symptoms, 70% had moderate/poor social support, 21% had no/low partner support, 37% had late prenatal care, and 29% had less than adequate prenatal care. Women with both no/low partner support and elevated depressive symptoms were at highest risk of late care (AOR 1.85, CI 1.31, 2.60, p < 0.001) compared to women with both good partner support and low depressive symptoms. Those with good partner support and elevated depressive symptoms were less likely to have late care (AOR 0.74, CI 0.54, 1.10, p = 0.051). Women with moderate/high depressive symptoms were less likely to experience less than adequate care compared to women with low symptoms (AOR 0.73, CI 0.56, 0.96, p = 0.022). Social support and partner support were negatively associated with indices of prenatal care use. Partner support was identified as protective for women with depressive symptoms with regard to late care. Study findings support public health initiatives focused on promoting models of care that address preconception and reproductive life planning. Practice-based implications include possible screening for social support and depression in preconception contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-644
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The sample was from the Twin Cities Healthy Start (TCHS) program, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Healthy Start Initiative. At the time of the study, TCHS, administered by the Minneapolis Health Department, offered outreach and case management services to women receiving prenatal care at several federally qualified health centers. TCHS clinics served a high proportion of African Americans and American Indians because of their disproportionate risks for poor pregnancy and birth outcomes (Minnesota Department of Health et al. ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Wien.


  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal care
  • Social support


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