In this study, 272 adult pregnant women were questioned about their partner support, relationship satisfaction, attachment style, and symptoms of distress. Results found that mothers who perceived greater social support from their partners, especially emotional support such as listening and affectionate behaviors, during pregnancy reported lower emotional distress after giving birth. In addition, having a high-quality and supportive partner relationship may play a role in improving the well-being of the mother and child after birth, as well as, may contribute to less fearful or emotionally reactive infant temperament. The possible underlying explanation for this is that when partners are more supportive, mothers are less distressed, which allows them to be more sensitive and engaged with their baby. This consequently contributes to lower infant distress. Therefore, the partners’ level of support not only influences maternal emotional health, but also the well-being of their newborn.
The findings were consistent with previous research which indicated that parents’ depression after childbirth is predicted by the quality of a couple’s relationship.
Stapleton, L. R. T., Schetter, C. D., Westling, E., Rini, C., Glynn, L. M., Hobel, C. J., & Sandman, C. A. (2012). Perceived partner support in pregnancy predicts lower maternal and infant distress. Journal of family psychology, 26(3), 453.