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Paternal Fears of Childbirth: A Literature Review

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To date, most studies on paternal childbirth fears have been exploratory or descriptive, conducted outside of the United States, and focused mainly on White, first-time fathers. Identified fears include harm to the mother or newborn, partner pain, feelings of helplessness, lack of knowledge, and fear of high-risk intervention. Fathers often report that childbirth classes are not helpful and, in some cases, even increase their fears. Some fathers view birth as traumatic, changing their perception of and relationship with their partner. Fathers also voice the need for more information and for reassurance that they are doing the right things for their partner during childbirth. This article summarizes the research findings on paternal childbirth fears and recommends topics for future study.

Keywords: childbirth; fathers; paternal; paternal fears

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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