The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of being a father to a prematurely born infant. Eight fathers of prematurely born children were interviewed using a narrative approach, and a thematic content analysis was used to analyse the interviews. The fathers described that the preterm birth gave them the chance to get to know their infant as they had to spend time at the intensive care unit. They also felt better educated by professionals who helped them take care of their infant. Their feelings and attachment for their infant increased over time and the fathers felt that they had a stronger bond with their child compared with friends who had babies born at term. As time passed, they became more confident as a father. In spite of the strain, the experience made them change as a person and they expressed having different values. The relationship with their partner was strengthened as they handled this situation together as a couple. However, the fathers felt fortunate despite everything and described having managed a prematurely born infant rather well. Although there are similarities between being a father to a child born at term and to one born preterm, it is significant to gain further knowledge about the specific experiences of fathers of prematurely born infants. The results of this study have implications for nurses working with families who have children born prematurely.
Impaired bonding with the infant is associated with maternal postpartum depression but has not been investigated extensively in fathers. The primary study aim was to evaluate associations between maternal and paternal depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with their infant. A secondary aim was to determine the associations between parents' marital problems and impaired bonding with the infant. The study is part of a population-based cohort project (UPPSAT) in Uppsala, Sweden. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum and the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 6 months postpartum were completed by 727 couples. The prevalence of impaired bonding was highest among couples in which both spouses had depressive symptoms. Impaired bonding was associated with higher EPDS scores in both mothers and fathers, as well as with experiencing a deteriorated marital relationship. The association between maternal and paternal impaired bonding and the mothers' and fathers' EPDS scores remained significant even after adjustment for relevant confounding factors. Depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum are associated with impaired bonding with the infant at 6 months postpartum for both mothers and fathers. It is critical to screen for and prevent depressive symptoms in both parents during early parenthood.
A concept analysis, the clarification of a concept, is the first step towards building the foundations of nursing theory, research and practice. As a relevant concept for nurses working with childbearing families, parent-infant attachment is an important part of the body of nursing knowledge. Wilson's method of concept analysis was used to generate antecedents, critical attributes and consequences of parent-infant attachment, highlighting the need to refine measurements of this concept.
To investigate contact between mothers and their newborn child and study if there are differences between those who requested an elective caesarean section compared to women who had a vaginal birth and those who underwent an elective caesarean section due to obstetrical indication. The psychometric properties of a scale that measure the contact between mother and child were also investigated.
A prospective cohort study.
Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
510 primiparas from three groups: women undergoing caesarean section on maternal request (n=96), women undergoing caesarean section on obstetrical indication (n=116) and women planning a vaginal delivery (n=198). The later were further divided into subgroups; women who underwent assisted vaginal delivery (n=35) and women who had an emergency caesarean section (n=65).
The instrument used was the Alliance Scale.
The contact between mother and child in relation to mode of delivery.
The contact with the child was rated as positive on all occasions: there were no significant differences between the groups. The relation to the partner was rated as positive at all occasions. Mothers with a vaginal delivery experienced breastfeeding less stressful than the mothers with a caesarean delivery. Three and nine months after delivery the mothers with a caesarean delivery on request reported more breastfeeding problems than mothers in the other groups. Mothers with a vaginal delivery rated less sadness at every occasion.
Mode of delivery does not seem to affect how mothers experience their contact towards the newborn child.
Despite the fact that father-child involvement has extensive effects on the health and well-being of the family, there is a paucity of research on fathers' presence in health care research. The design and development of an instrument for assessing the characteristics of fathers' availability and engagement with their preschool-aged children in Finland is presented. Data collection was undertaken in two separate periods involving 263 and 821 fathers. Results indicate that the father-child instrument (FCI) is ready for use in research seeking to assess fathers' availability and engagement with their preschoolers. Further research is nonetheless required to assess the potential for a more sensitive interaction and for the generalization of the FCI.
This qualitative and longitudinal study aims at defining a model of early parent-infant relationships in the perinatal period. Eighteen parental couples were interviewed. The resulting model is based on five themes in the parent-infant relationship, i.e. discovery of the infant, physical proximity, emotional closeness, initiation of complementary interactions and personal commitment to the parental role. The article clearly shows the differences between mothers' and fathers' experiences in developing these relationships with their infant. The nurse's assessment of early parent-infant relationships and her interventions are discussed in a second article, p. 32.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The importance of fathers' participation for development of the child and the well-being of the family is recognized from earlier research. In Sweden, legislation allows fathers to share the parental leave equally with the mother even so fathers only use a small of their paid leave. The aim of the study was to explore experiences of the first year as a father. METHOD: A phenomenological life world approach was used. Ethical approval was obtained. Ten men, recruited by a purposive sample, were interviewed 12-14 months after the delivery of their first child. The data collection was performed during June and August 2004 in the south-west area of Sweden. FINDINGS: The essence of the experiences of the first year as father was to place the baby in the centre without giving up one's own person. The child provided warmth and happiness in the family and men experienced a deeper relationship to their partner. The contact between father and child was facilitated by engagement and time spent alone with the child. The major constituents identified from the findings were 'To be overwhelmed', 'To master the new situation' and 'To get a new completeness in life'. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: To master fatherhood maintenance of integrity and possibility to develop an independent relationship with the child is important. Fathers are invited to participate in postnatal childbirth education but the activities address women's needs and it is doubtful if the fathers benefit from participation. Though fathers entered the delivery room some decades ago, as a support to the woman, health personnel of today must be aware of fathers' own needs and the impact gender aspects have on their professional support.
The question of how mothers' and fathers' representations of attachment correlate ten years later with children's perceptions of attachment relationships was examined in a longitudinal study on Finnish families (N = 42). The parents completed the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) during the child's first year of life. At 11 years, the children filled out three scales on how secure they perceive the relationship with each parent. Parents' AAI classifications and AAI dimensions based on continuous scales were used as predictors of the preadolescents' attachment security. Regression analyses demonstrated that fathers' but not mothers' State-of-Mind and Experience dimensions predicted preadolescents' security of attachment to father. The discussion focuses on the predictive validity of the classical categorical versus the recently proposed continuous approach and the different roles of parents in transmitting security from one generation to another.
This review is an attempt to integrate Anglo-American and Swedish studies on father/son relationships. The puerperal period, infancy and early childhood are surveyed. Swedish studies do not support specific stereotyped bonding in the puerperal period. The review confirms the bidirectional nature of the father/son relationship. Thus, counteridentification, i.e. the father's identification with his son, and identification during the oedipal phase, i.e. the son's identification with his father, seem to be essential components in the father/son relationship. However, studies on parent-infant behaviour indicate that different parental roles exist early in infancy. Also, attachment studies point to the specificity of the father/son relationship before the oedipal phase. It is concluded that the major importance of the father/son relationship during the preschool years is to facilitate the son's masculine identification.
To describe fathers' experiences during childbirth.
Qualitative method with phenomenological lifeworld approach. A re-enactment interview method, with open-ended questions analysed with a phenomenological method, was used.
10 First-time fathers from two hospitals were interviewed four to six weeks after childbirth in Southwest Sweden during the autumn of 2008.
The essential meaning of first-time fathers' lived experience of childbirth was described as an interwoven process pendulating between euphoria and agony. The four themes constituting the essence was: 'a process into the unknown', 'a mutually shared experience', 'to guard and support the woman' and 'in an exposed position with hidden strong emotions'.
Childbirth was experienced as a mutually shared process for the couple. The fathers' high involvement in childbirth, in cooperation with the midwife, and being engaged in support and care for his partner in her suffering is fulfilling for both partners, although the experience of the woman's pain, fear of the unknown and the gendered preconceptions of masculine hegemony can be difficult to bear for the father-to-be.
In order to maintain and strengthen childbirth as a mutually shared experience for the couple, the father needs to be recognised and supported as a parent-to-be. Midwives have to acknowledge fathers as valued participants and support their significant position.