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A qualitative investigation into the pregnancy experiences and childbirth expectations of Australian fathers-to-be.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Obstetrics and Reproductive Health Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0766-9957
2012 (English)In: Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare, ISSN 1877-5756, E-ISSN 1877-5764, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 3-9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIM: To explore and describe men's experiences of pregnancy and childbirth expectations.

BACKGROUND: There remains limited work exploring expectant father's perspectives.

DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive design. Twelve Australian expectant fathers participated in between 1 and 2 interviews during pregnancy and 1 after childbirth (32 in total). Six fathers also chose to submit a number of diary entries via e-mail. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data set.

FINDINGS: Five themes emerged from the data. The themes pregnancy news: heralds profound change adjusting to pregnancy, and birth looming described how men processed the news of pregnancy, worked to accept their changed circumstances and negotiated the final week of the pregnancy. A fourth theme, labelled Feeling sidelined, outlined men's experiences of antenatal care and their feeling of isolation as a result of largely feeling ignored by health care professionals. The fifth theme represents men's childbirth expectations.

CONCLUSION: Adjusting to the news of a pregnancy was a potentially unsettling time for an expectant father that was often associated with increased apprehension and anxiety. Regardless of whether they were a first or once again father most men engaged in a level of emotional work to come to terms with and accept the pregnancy. Understanding men's antenatal experiences and anxieties is an important step in the development of preventative paternal perinatal mental health measures. The significance of this work is situated within the reality that men's wellbeing is associated with maternal psychological well-being, positive peri-natal experiences and child development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 3, no 1, p. 3-9
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406834DOI: 10.1016/j.srhc.2011.11.001PubMedID: 22325796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-406834DiVA, id: diva2:1414395
Available from: 2020-03-12 Created: 2020-03-12 Last updated: 2020-03-12

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