First-time fathers' experiences and needs during childbirth: A systematic review
SourceMidwifery, 94, (2021), article 102921
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: Fathers have been increasingly involved in childbirth since 1990. Attendance at childbirth is considered to benefit fathers' health as well as that of their partner and children. However, childbirth is a life event that parents may experience differently. First-time fathers' experiences have been barely studied and may differ from those of fathers who have already had a child. In order to adapt support and care during childbirth to the needs of first-time fathers, a deeper insight must be gained into their experiences and needs during childbirth. DESIGN: A systematic review of qualitative studies was conducted using PubMed, Embase and CINAHL as well as the snowball method. Quality appraisal was performed and evaluated using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. A thematic best evidence synthesis was performed. FINDINGS: Of 821 articles, eight qualitative studies and the qualitative data of one mixed methods study were included. amongst other feelings, fathers experience a lack of knowledge and a need to be better prepared. First-time fathers want to be more involved and need guidance, information and honest answers to help them fulfil a supportive role. Fathers disregard their own needs to focus on the needs of the mother. Meeting the baby for the first time changes the focus from the mother to the child, and fathers need time and privacy for this special moment. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: To adapt support and care during childbirth to the needs of first-time fathers, professionals must be aware of their needs. Professionals must realise the significant influence of their professional behaviour on first-time fathers' experiences. Care for first-time fathers should be formalised. Follow-up research must be conducted on integrating the preparation of first-time fathers into prenatal care. Education and training of professionals must be improved.
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