Where Are the Dads? A Pilot Study of a Dads-Only Session in Group Prenatal Care

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Abstract

Despite suggestions that paternal engagement is one potential strategy to impact the multifaceted problem of infant mortality, fathers' involvement in prenatal care has received little attention or study. While there is evidence that fathers want information about assisting partners and caring for newborns, the best mechanism for providing this information is unknown. A pilot study was conducted using a father-only session designed to provide information in an informal, interactive setting within a model of group prenatal care. All 5 of the fathers approached agreed to participate. The fathers participating in this session indicated that the session was beneficial and found it to be a valuable addition to the group care model. Implications for health providers include identifying opportunities that allow fathers to share concerns and anxieties regarding care for partners and newborns. Implementing fathering activities into group prenatal care or developing other opportunities for fathers to be involved prenatally needs further investigation.

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