Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
Childbirth is time when attention is, rightly, focused on the woman and the baby. But what about the father and, esepecially, first-time fathers? What are their needs and how can they be addressed? This is the topic of an article from Singapore by Shorey et al. (2017) titled: 'First-time fathers’ postnatal experiences and support needs: A descriptive qualitative study' and published in JAN.
The study aimed to: 'explore first-time fathers’ postnatal experiences and support needs in the early postpartum period'. Fifteen first time fathers were interviewed and, hardly unexpectedly, the researchers found: '1) No sense of reality to sense of responsibility, (2) Unprepared and challenged, (3) Support: needs, sources, experience and attitude and (4) Future help for fathers'. For example, one father said: 'One thing that we want to do (as a father) is to get more involved. But, another thing, maybe, from the hospital or from institutes, is telling us what we have to do. So, to be more aware, involve us more so that we will feel more important (laugh)'. The authors concluded: 'This study provides empirical evidence on the experiences and support needs of first-time multiracial fathers in Singapore. The fathers in this study underwent a series of emotional and personal challenges during their transition to fatherhood in the early postnatal period. They shared their support needs and the desire to be considered as an integral part of their family by Singapore healthcare professionals, especially nurses and midwives'.
You can listen to this as a podcast.
Shorey, S., Dennis, C.-L., Bridge, S., Chong, Y. S., Holroyd, E. and He, H.-G. (2017), First-time fathers’ postnatal experiences and support needs: A descriptive qualitative study. J Adv Nurs doi:10.1111/jan.13349