A new study points to the benefits of being in a marital relationship as opposed to being in a cohabiting relationship, for pregnant women. The study cites several psychosocial benefits from being married for a pregnant woman.
The results of the study have been published in the American Journal of Public Health. The researchers analyzed data that came from the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey, dating back to between 2006 and 2007. A total of 6,421 women were included in the study, and the women were all either married, cohabiting and living with a partner, or not cohabiting which included divorced, separated and single women.
The researchers were trying to find any kind of association between the marital status of the woman, and the presence of several conditions, including domestic violence, substance abuse as well as the incidence of post-partum depression among these women.
The study found that the odds of suffering the effects of intimate partner violence, or postpartum depression were higher for unmarried cohabiting women, who had been living with a partner for less than 2 years, compared to married women who had been living with a partner for more than 5 years. The good news for cohabiting women seems to be that as the period of cohabitation increases, the risk of all these conditions including domestic violence, postpartum depression and substance abuse also declined.
According to the research, at least 20% of cohabiting women who were not married suffered at least one of these psychosocial conditions. In the case of single women who had never been married, the number was 35%, and among women who were separated or divorced from their partner in the year before they give birth, the number increased to 67%.