Author(s): Longworth HL, Kingdon CK
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: to explore the role, expectations and meanings that individual fathers ascribe to their presence at birth. DESIGN: a Heideggerian phenomenological approach utilising in-depth interviews at two different time points. SETTING: large tertiary maternity unit in the North West of England. PARTICIPANTS: 11 first-time fathers accessed through hospital-based parentcraft sessions. FINDINGS: four main themes were evident: fathers' disconnection with pregnancy and labour; fathers on the periphery of events during labour; control; and fatherhood beginning at birth and reconnection. KEY CONCLUSIONS: birth is the moment that fathers ascribe as the beginning of fatherhood. However, through their lack of knowledge and perceived control, they struggle to find a role there. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: midwives are ideally placed to help fathers to find a role through parentcraft and encouraging participation at birth. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Midwifery
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care