A study in Turkey asked 16 first-time expectant fathers afraid of childbirth about their fears.
They described fear of:
- Childbirth complications – excessive pain for the mother, bleeding, damage to mother or baby, emergency caesarean section;
- Mistakes by health personnel and their negative behaviour towards the mother
- Making a mistake during childbirth or not being able to control their emotions.
Sources of these fears included negative stories picked up from friends/family and the media, pre-existing health problems on the part of mother and negative experiences earlier in the pregnancy or in a previous aborted pregnancy. Another reason given was that the mother was afraid of childbirth.
The researchers quote earlier research showing that when expectant fathers fear childbirth, it can influence the woman away from natural birth.
The researchers conclude that health personnel should, through antenatal education, address and mitigate the fears of fathers. Other research has shown this to be effective.
Serçekuş P, Vardar O, Türkçü SG & Özkan S (2020), Why are first time expectant fathers afraid of birth? : A qualitative study, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 254
Header photo: Carly Hagins. Creative Commons.