This paper has two main aims: to explore fathers' postnatal care experiences with a specific focus on deficiencies and to investigate which service deficiencies remained important for fathers one year after childbirth.
This is a prospective longitudinal study. Two months and one year after birth, the overall satisfaction with care were sought. A care quality index was created, based on perceived reality and subjective importance of the care given. The study excluded fathers not mastering Swedish. Total eligible fathers was consequently not known therefore pregnancies served as an estimate.
In total, 827 fathers answered the questionnaire two months after birth and 655 returned the follow-up questionnaire after one year; 21 per cent were dissatisfied with overall postnatal-care. The most important dissatisfying factors were the way fathers were treated by staff and the women's check-up/medical care. Two months after the birth, information given about the baby's care and needs were most deficient when parents had been cared for in a hotel ward. Furthermore, information about the baby's needs and woman's check-up/medical care was most deficient when fathers had participated in emergency Caesarean section.
Most fathers were satisfied with the overall postnatal care, but how fathers are treated by caregivers; the woman's check-up/medical care and information given about the baby's care and needs can be improved. Professionals should view early parenthood as a joint project and support both parents' needs.
The paper provides knowledge about postnatal service quality including fathers' needs.
2013. Vol. 26, no 5, 465-480 p.