Stress and coping in first pregnancy: couple-family physician interaction.

P. Williamson, E. C. English

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


First pregnancy and childbirth produce life changes and require adaptation. This pilot study examined the role of the family physician in caring for nine couples during first pregnancy through the postpartum period. Interviews of individuals and couples were conducted to evaluate their support, stresses, and coping styles. Concurrently, physicians were interviewed for their knowledge of these dimensions. Interactions between physicians and couples were observed in third trimester and at labor and delivery. Each of the participants perceived predelivery stresses relating to the pregnancy and to concomitant changes. Emotional and technical support was high; only two of the nine husbands felt a marked lack of emotional support from any source. All women felt a high level of support. While pregnancy related concerns and support were perceived by all physicians, general stresses and sources of emotional support were infrequently known. Significantly more was known about the women than their husbands. Attention to psychosocial issues appeared to depend on physician style of interaction with the couple. When recognized, stresses were reduced by provision of information, discussion, and reassurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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