The effect of comprehensive prenatal care on birth weight was examined using a prospective randomized design. A total of 428 pregnant women were randomly assigned to comprehensive prenatal care (n = 217) or standard prenatal care (n = 211). Comprehensive care was provided by a multidisciplinary team of nurse-midwives, social workers, a nutritionist, paraprofessional home visitors, and a psychologist. Standard prenatal care consisted of medical care provided by obstetric residents. Multiple regression analysis using behavioral, demographic, and medical variables showed a strong relationship between the set of predictors and birth weight. Comprehensive care was related to higher birth weights for primiparous but not multiparous mothers. Separate analyses of variance for primiparas and multiparas similarly showed a favorable effect of comprehensive care on birth weight for primiparous but not multiparous mothers.
Low-income mother-infant pairs were randomly assigned to rooming-in (N = 143) or to routine (N = 158) postpartum contact to determine whether rooming-in affects subsequent adequacy in parenting. At mean age 17 months, two rooming-in and ten control children had experienced inadequate parenting. One rooming-in and eight control children were hospitalized for these problems. One rooming-in and five control families were reported to Protective Services for mistreatment of the study child; five control and no rooming-in children were in the care of adults other than their parents at the time of data analysis. In this study, rooming-in correlated with fewer subsequent cases of parenting inadequacy.