ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to describe fathers’ experiences of being present on a postnatal ward and during the first days at home following a complicated birth. Fifteen fathers were interviewed, and content analysis was used for the analysis. The theme illustrated
that fathers were a resource for both mother and child through practical and emotional engagement. The categories describe how the father empowers the mother and illustrates adapting to new family roles. Following complicated birth, fathers should be invited to stay around-the-clock on postnatal
wards because it gives them the opportunity to place their resources at the disposal of mother and child. In antenatal courses, fathers should be prepared for their empowering role after a complicated birth.
The Journal of Perinatal Education is the official journal of Lamaze International, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.