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Partners at the birth.

Hollins Martin, Caroline J



Colin R Martin


Contemporary Western culture incorporates a belief that fathers should attend the birth of their child, but is this always a healthy assumption to make? There has been an increasing trend in the West for fathers to be present during childbirth (David et al., 1994; Longworth, 2006; MacMillan, 1994; Palkovitz, 1987), with a cultural expectation in the West that they should (Chan and Paterson-Brown, 2002; Longworth, 2006). Fathers are expected to perform a supportive role during childbirth, but many are unclear about what to expect (Vehvilainen-Julkunen and Liukkkonnen, 1998). Hollins Martin (2008) found that the majority of fathers hold positive attitudes towards participation in the birth, with 97 per cent expressing a desire to be present. This result is in keeping with a survey by the Royal College of Midwives which found that 98 per cent of fathers in the UK want to participate (Reid, 1994). This leaves just 2 or 3 per cent of fathers who desire to relinquish the role. When this occurs, a blameless approach should be taken and attempts should be made to understand and problem solve. For example, by recruiting surrogate support from a friend, sister, mother or doula (Hodnett, 2002).

Publication Date 2012-03
Deposit Date Jul 21, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title Perinatal Mental Health: a clinical guide
ISBN 9781905539499
Keywords Birthing partners; fathers; giving birth; birthing plans;
Public URL