240660 Do involved father – partners make a difference in a Healthy Start project's birth outcomes?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Timothy Peyton, MPH , Cleveland Dept. of Public Health, Cleveland MomsFirst Project, Cleveland, OH
This article will explore the potential influence of a supportive partner in birth outcomes to women enrolled in a federal Healthy Start project in Cleveland, Ohio. The goal for the 104 Healthy Start sites across the United States is to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in perinatal health. The Cleveland MomsFirst Project uses a community based, home visiting model for women at high risk for poor birth outcomes in Cleveland. The hypothesis for this study was that the mother's perception of the father – partners positive financial or emotional involvement in the pregnancy will lead to more normal weight births than the perceived uninvolved father – partners. Singleton birth outcome data among participants in the project in 2008, 1,075 births, were compared to father – partner involvement. All data was provided by the mother after birth and at enrollment when participants are asked if the father – partner is financially involved, and if the father – partner is emotionally involved. The mothers were 82% African-American, 87% were never married, 66% had a partner and 65% stated that the current partner was the biological father. The normal weight births (>2500 grams) and financially involved fathers was 57%. The emotionally involved fathers and normal weight births was 67%. This outcome supports other studies on the mother's perception of her partners involvement in the pregnancy. The Cleveland MomsFirst Project will pilot gathering data directly from the father – partners to find out how to define the activities that constitute “involvement” starting in 2011.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the father - partners role in perinatal health.

Keywords: Birth Outcomes, Partner Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted the program evaluation for this project for the last twelve years. I am the project's representative at the Healthy Fathering Collaborative of Greater Cleveland for the last five years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.