A small study of 110 fathers in West Bengal found low levels of knowledge about key pregnancy health issues.
Only 36% of the men know about the need for early pregnancy registration. 56% knew a transportation system to the hospital existed, but only 8% could name the vehicle.
Knowledge of some danger signs during pregnancy was quite high: 86% knew about decreased foetal movement, 91% knew about convulsions, 76% about unconsciousness, 74% about breathing difficulties and 63% about vaginal bleeding.
But knowledge of other issues was low: only 16% knew about the dangers of excessive vomiting, 19% about expulsion of the placenta within 30 minutes of delivery, 22% about headaches and 36% about abdominal pain.
In the sample 60% of fathers supported their wives financially with the pregnancy and 44% accompanied their wives to clinics. 27% did both and 24% did neither.
The researchers make the point that it is not safe that fathers, who have so much influence over domestic decision-making, should be so lacking in knowledge of basic health issues. Health information for fathers should be organised.
Chakrabarti S & Sarkar D (2017), Awareness and involvement of male spouse in various aspects of antenatal care: observation in a rural area of West Bengal, International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health 4.4
Photo: Sudipta Mallick. Creative Commons.