Partners at the birth

Hollins-Martin, CJ 2012, 'Partners at the birth' , in: Perinatal Mental Health: A Clinical Guide , M&K Update, Keswick, UK, pp. 217-224.

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Contemporary Western culture incorporates a belief that fathers should attend the birth of their child, but is this always a healthy assumption to make? There has been an increasing trend in the West for fathers to be present during childbirth (David et al., 1994; Longworth, 2006; MacMillan, 1994; Palkovitz, 1987), with a cultural expectation in the West that they should (Chan and Paterson-Brown, 2002; Longworth, 2006). Fathers are expected to perform a supportive role during childbirth, but many are unclear about what to expect (Vehvilainen-Julkunen and Liukkkonnen, 1998). Hollins Martin (2008) found that the majority of fathers hold positive attitudes towards participation in the birth, with 97 per cent expressing a desire to be present. This result is in keeping with a survey by the Royal College of Midwives which found that 98 per cent of fathers in the UK want to participate (Reid, 1994). This leaves just 2 or 3 per cent of fathers who desire to relinquish the role. When this occurs, a blameless approach should be taken and attempts should be made to understand and problem solve. For example, by recruiting surrogate support from a friend, sister, mother or doula (Hodnett, 2002).

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Martin, C
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Publisher: M&K Update
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9781905539499
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: CJ Hollins Martin
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 08:22
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 19:24

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