Factors that influence father’s experiences of childbirth and their implications upon postnatal mental health: a narrative systematic review
McNab, Emma; Hollins Martin, Caroline J.; Norris, Gail
Prof Caroline Hollins-Martin C.HollinsMartin@napier.ac.uk
Dr Gail Norris G.Norris@napier.ac.uk
To explore factors that influence fathers’ experiences of childbirth and implications for their subsequent postnatal mental health.
Fathers who attend the birth of their baby often have very rewarding experiences. However, those who witness a difficult birth may progress to develop subsequent mental health problems, e.g., trauma symptoms that can affect future relationships with partner and infant.
A narrative systematic review of literature was carried out. Two overarching themes were identified, each with 3 underpinning sub-themes: (1) Interpersonal relationships with maternity care professionals; (1b) Communication; (1b) Feeling isolated during labour; (1c) Being prepared; (2) The aftermath; (2a) Support provision; (2b) Effects on relationships; (2c) Psychological trauma.
Findings emphasise that good communication between fathers and midwives is a fundamental part of providing excellent care before, during and post-childbirth, as it can reduce partners’ feelings of isolation, improve their relationships and limit development and impact of psychological trauma.
Recommendations for practice
It is important to develop more on-line partner sites, parenthood education programmes and support groups, which include education about how to prevent, recognise, support and treat mental health complications. Also, further in-depth qualitative studies would enhance understanding of specific aspects of labour that traumatise fathers.
McNab, E., Hollins Martin, C. J., & Norris, G. (2022). Factors that influence father’s experiences of childbirth and their implications upon postnatal mental health: a narrative systematic review. Nurse Education in Practice, 65, Article 103460. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2022.103460
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Sep 23, 2022|
|Online Publication Date||Sep 26, 2022|
|Deposit Date||Sep 28, 2022|
|Publicly Available Date||Sep 27, 2023|
|Journal||Nurse Education in Practice|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||BSS-R, experience(s), childbirth, father(s), mental health, partner, review, trauma|
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