Partner and social support in childbearing and rearing in a Gulf Coast Native American community

Jessica L. Liddell, Emily C. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study sought to understand the roles of partners in pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing in Indigenous communities. It explores supportive and unsupportive attitudes in the relationships mothers experienced, and how these relationships affected their lives. Background: Settler colonialism has negatively impacted Indigenous communities. However, little research has explored how it has influenced partner and social support during the perinatal time period. Methods: Through 31 semistructured interviews with women from a tribe in the southeastern United States, participants described their experiences with supportive and unsupportive partners and how that shaped their experiences during pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing. Results: Participants described themes of (a) supportive and unsupportive partner relationships, (b) importance of partner support in childbirth, and (c) mothers as primary caregivers. Conclusion: Results suggest that women experienced a wide range of partner relationships, and they relied more on their female family members to provide support during this time, rather than counting on their male counterparts. Implications: Health care providers may want to take these findings into consideration when approaching their patient's care. These findings indicate that the impacts of settler colonialism continue to impact family relationships for the participants in this study.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Relations
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


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