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Becoming a father: Sources of information, birth preference, and experiences of childbirth and postnatal care
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Att bli far- informationskällor, önskemål om förlossningssätt samt upplevelser av förlossning och eftervård (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The period of pregnancy and childbirth is an important and sensitive time for men’s upcoming parenthood. Research into fathers’ experiences of childbearing has received less attention compared to maternal experiences. The purpose of this thesis was to study the sources fathers use to obtain information about pregnancy and childbirth, fathers’ preference for the mode of birth of their baby, and fathers’ childbirth experience and their perception of postnatal care quality.In 2007, 1105 expectant fathers were enrolled in the study when their partner had reached the middle of pregnancy. The fathers were followed until one year after the birth of their baby. The fathers were living in the county of Västernorrland in Sweden and their babies were born in one of the three hospitals in the county. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and content analysis. An index was created from a combination of fathers’ experiences of postnatal care quality.iiiCommon sources of information about pregnancy and childbirth used by prospective fathers were the Internet, their partners and the midwife. Fathers who were expecting their first baby (OR 1.4; 1.2-1.7), had a high level of education (OR 1.3; 1.2-1.5) and fathers with previous experience of caesarean section (OR 1.3; 1.1-1.6) were the greatest users of the Internet. Of the prospective fathers 71 (6.4%) desired caesarean section for the birth of their baby. Previous negative birth experience (PR 8.6; 2.6-28.3) and the experience of caesarean section (PR 5.7; 2.8-11.9) were factors associated with the wish that the baby would be born by caesarean section. A desire to plan the day of the baby’s birth (PR 6.0; 1.5-24.1) was associated with a preference for caesarean section for the men who were expecting their first baby. Two months after the birth of the baby 604 (74%) of the fathers in this group had had a positive birth experience. A correlation with a less-positive birth experience was with emergency caesarean section (OR 7.5; 4.1-13.6), instrumental vaginal birth (OR 4.2; 2.3-8.0) and if the man was unhappy with the medical care which the partner received (OR; 4.6; 2.7-7.8). Positive experience of healthcare professionals’ knowledge and attitudes was related to a satisfactory birth experience. The deficiencies in the postnatal care were mainly related to deficiencies in the information on the baby’s care and needs, and fathers’ experiences of their partners’ inadequate check-ups and medical care. A year after the birth 488 (79%) of the fathers were satisfied with the overall postnatal care, although they had pointed to deficiencies in the provision. Deficiencies in the attitude of the staff (OR 5.01; 2.80-8.98) and the medical care and check-ups their partner received were associated with fathers’ dissatisfaction with the overall postnatal care (OR 2.13; 1.25-3.62).ivMost fathers in this study had a positive birth experience and were happy with the postnatal care. The thesis highlights, however, opportunities for improvements in intrapartum and postnatal care. Healthcare professionals should be informed regarding the information provided via the web and to discuss the information that expectant fathers receive about pregnancy and childbirth. Prospective fathers should be given the opportunity to discuss their preferences and attitudes to the mode of birth. In addition, professionals should provide supportive information and be present in the delivery room. The information about the newborn baby’s care and needs can be strengthened, both before and after birth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2012. , 82 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 119
Keyword [en]
Birth experience, Fatherhood, Mode of birth, Postnatal care, Preference, Social support, Transition, Quality of care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-15161ISBN: 978-91-86694-91-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-15161DiVA: diva2:479713
Public defence
2012-02-17, M 108, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 10:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-01-18 Created: 2011-12-12 Last updated: 2012-07-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Internet: one important source for pregnancy and childbirth information among prospective fathers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Internet: one important source for pregnancy and childbirth information among prospective fathers
2010 (English)In: Journal of Men's Health, ISSN 1875-6867, E-ISSN 1875-6859, Vol. 7, no 3, 249-258 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Fathers' involvement in pregnancy and childbirth has increased, and this can benefit their own health as well as their partners' and children's health. The objective of this study was to investigate the sources of pregnancy and childbirth information that expectant fathers used in pregnancy, with a specific focus on the Internet. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 1105 prospective fathers in Sweden. Data were collected in a single year by means of a questionnaire in mid-pregnancy. Results: The Internet was used by 58% of the fathers. The Internet as a source of information was more often used by fathers expecting their first child (relative risk (RR) = 1.4; range = 1.2-1.7), fathers with a high level of education (RR = 1.3; range = 1.2-1.5) and those who had a previous experience of caesarean section (RR = 1.3; range = 1.1-1.6). Other important sources for pregnancy and childbirth information were the midwife and the pregnant partner. Conclusions: The Internet is, in addition to the midwife and the pregnant partner, a common source of pregnancy and childbirth information for prospective fathers. Antenatal caregivers need to be updated about preferable web sites for pregnancy and childbirth information, and give the couple a chance to reflect and talk about what they retrieve from the Internet

Keyword
Fathers; Informational support; Internet; Pregnancy
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-10436 (URN)10.1016/j.jomh.2010.04.004 (DOI)000284809300013 ()2-s2.0-84856800055 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-11-29 Created: 2009-11-29 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
2. Few fathers-to-be prefer caesarean section for the birth of their baby
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Few fathers-to-be prefer caesarean section for the birth of their baby
Show others...
2010 (English)In: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ISSN 1470-0328, E-ISSN 1471-0528, Vol. 117, no 6, 761-764 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this study was to investigate prospective fathers' preferences for caesarean section and associated factors. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire given in mid-pregnancy to 1105 fathers-to-be in northern Sweden. In total, 6.4% of fathers preferred a caesarean section. The factors associated with a preference for caesarean section were a wish to plan the date of the baby's birth [prevalence ratio (PR) 6.0], a previous negative birth experience (PR 8.6) and previous experience of a caesarean section (PR 5.7).

Keyword
Attitudes; caesarean section; experience; preference; prospective fathers
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11452 (URN)10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02508.x (DOI)000276509100017 ()20175875 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-77950677701 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-04-25 Created: 2010-04-25 Last updated: 2012-01-20Bibliographically approved
3. Childbirth - an emotionally demanding experience for fathers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Childbirth - an emotionally demanding experience for fathers
2012 (English)In: Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare, ISSN 1877-5756, Vol. 3, no 1, 11-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: While attending birth mostly has a positive impact on becoming a father, it has also been described as including feelings of discomfort and is more demaning than expected. Objective: The objective was to explore Swedish fathers' birth experiences, and factors associated with a less-positive birth experience. Methods: Mixed methods including quantitative and qualitative data were used. Two months after birth 827 fathers answered a questionnaire and 111 (13%) of these commented on the birth experience. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, chi-square test for independence, risk ratios with a 95% confidence interval, logistic regression and content analysis. Result: In total, 604 (74%) of the fathers had a positive or a very positive birth experience. Used method identified a less-positive birth experience associated with emergency caesarean section (RR 7.5; 4.1-13.6), instrumental vaginal birth (RR 4.2; 2.3-8.0), and dissatisfaction with the partner's medical care (RR 4.6; 2.7-7.8). Healthcare professionals' competence and approach to the fathers were also related to the birth experience. Conclusions: As the fathers' birth experiences were associated with mode of birth and experiences of the intrapartum medical care fathers should be respectfully and empathically treated during labour and birth. It is essential to better engage fathers during the intrapartum period through involvement and support to improve the likelihood of a positive birth experience.

Keyword
Birth experience; Content analysis; Father; Healthcare professional; Mixed methods; Mode of birth
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11455 (URN)10.1016/j.srhc.2011.12.003 (DOI)000312282000003 ()2-s2.0-84856796040 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-04-25 Created: 2010-04-25 Last updated: 2013-04-19Bibliographically approved
4. Improvements of postnatal care are required by Swedish fathers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improvements of postnatal care are required by Swedish fathers
2013 (English)In: International journal of health care quality assurance/MCB University Press, ISSN 0952-6862, Vol. 26, no 5, 465-480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: 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.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: 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.

FINDINGS: 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.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: 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.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The paper provides knowledge about postnatal service quality including fathers' needs.

Keyword
Care quality, Fathers, Medical care, Patient care, Personal needs, Postnatal care, Prospective longitudinal study, Sweden
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-14936 (URN)10.1108/IJHCQA-08-2011-0052 (DOI)23905306 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84879719178 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2011-11-27 Created: 2011-11-27 Last updated: 2013-12-03Bibliographically approved

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