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New Study Shows Family Foundations Classes for Pregnant Couples Reduce Poor Birth Outcomes

State College, PA, July 13, 2014 --( According to a new study published in Maternal and Child Health Journal, women randomly assigned to attend the program classes with their partners experienced lower rates of Caesarian section than women randomly assigned to the control group.

In addition, among women with relatively higher levels of cortisol—known as the stress hormone—the Family Foundations class series was linked with lower levels of preterm birth, low birthweight, and long infant stays in the hospital.

Stress and anxiety during pregnancy has been linked to less optimal fetal development and birth outcomes. “Because stress and anxiety are widespread, especially during pregnancy, it’s crucial to find ways to help pregnant women and their partners become more emotionally healthy without the use of prescription drugs—which may carry side effects for the pregnancy and fetal development,” says Mark E. Feinberg, research professor of health and human development and senior scientist at the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University.

The Family Foundations classes are intended to prepare couples to become parents in a mutually supportive manner, helping each other avoid the stresses and relationship difficulties that frequently accompany the transition to parenthood. The class series is also available as a DVD/workbook series for use by couples at home.

Family Foundations has been shown in prior NIH-funded research to reduce maternal postpartum depression, improve the quality of father-infant relationships, reduce harsh parenting, and enhance children’s self-regulation and long-term emotional and behavioral well-being.

No other available class, program, DVD or book has been shown in rigorous research to be as effective in helping the majority of new parents raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids and create low-stress, supportive families. To learn more about the Family Foundations approach and the home-study DVD series, visit
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Family Foundations
Sara Spock Carlson

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