Guide Fathers at Birth

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The purpose of this study is to identify the benefits for the father from their involvement during the labor and birth sequence. The team of health professionals has a crucial role in the integration of the father into the process of maternity with his presence also being reflected in the humanization of health care. It may be concluded that there are many benefits from paternal involvement in the birth when accompanying the mother from the moment of pregnancy with an active presence during the birth and enjoying the entire process by sharing emotions and feelings and contributing to the humanization of care and an affective link between the triad.

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The performance of the Specialist Nursing Staff in the areas of Maternal health and Obstetrics is reflected in the inclusion of the father in the birthing room and in the de-mythification of taboos. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads.

Should fathers be at the birth of their babies?

By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Evidence now suggests that paternal factors may influence birth outcomes through a number of pathways, including factors that act indirectly through maternal dynamics on birth outcomes. Misra and colleagues Misra, D. Do fathers matter?

What kind of research was this?

Paternal contributionsto birth outcomes and racial disparities. American Journal of Obstetric and Gynecology.

Dads Reactions to Childbirth

Misra et al. From a psychological perspective many authors have written negatively about partner presence in the birth room. Should Dads be in the delivery room? Psychosocial stress and pregnancy outcome.

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology , 51 , 33 — Maternal stress and obstetric and infant outcomes: Epidemiological findings and neuroendocrine mechanisms. Hence the impact of fathers in the birth room may be more far reaching than has been previously considered. A recent study suggests that attachment style might influence the experience of partner support in the birth room.

While a small study, the findings suggest that women who have less emotional intimacy with their partner actually experience more pain when their partners are present. This is interesting to consider when even in non-romantic relationships fathers are often present in the birth room as an expectation. Relationship between factors of labour pain and delivery outcomes.


The traditional focus of the birth context exemplified by the work above is on the maternal experience and associated outcomes for the baby. Bringing a baby into the world, however, is arguably one of the most life-changing events that a man will experience, yet little attention has been paid to the consequences, positive or negative, for men of the blanket expectation to be there at birth.

Some fathers feel unable to attend the birth of their babies. This highlights the psychologically charged nature of birth for men.

The thought of being present at birth for some men fills them with fear and anxiety. That fear can be triggered by many things — of the unknown, of the sight of blood, of seeing their partner in pain and feeling unable to act effectively.

Adding a father's name to a birth certificate

How do fathers feel after accompanying their partners in labour and delivery? Chandler and Field Chandler, S. Initially, the fathers were confident of their ability to support their wives, but they found that labour was more work than they had anticipated. They became fearful of the outcome, but felt a need to hide these fears from their partners.

Fathers in the birth room: What are they expecting and experiencing? A phenomenological study.

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Midwifery , 27 , — Midwifery , 17 , — The impact of choice of maternity care on psychological health outcomes for women during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice , 14 , — Greenhalgh, Slade and Spiby Greenhalgh, R. Birth-Issues in Perinatal Care , 27 , — However, the effect was removed once existing depressive symptoms were controlled for Greenhalgh et al.

Similar findings with relation to pre-existing vulnerabilities were evident in men who reported psychological and sexual scarring after watching their partner give birth White, White, G. British Journal of Midwifery , 15 , 39 — Overall there remains a dearth of literature in this field and some key issues are worthy of attention. Practitioners need to discuss what meaningful engagement for fathers in the birth room looks like and how that can be facilitated, so the benefits can be captured.