* ic10 First-time expectant fathers and their influence on decision making regarding choice for place of birth

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Abstract

Aim:

To examine first-time expectant fathers' views concerning their perceived influence surrounding place of birth.

Design:

Qualitative study using tape-recorded semistructured interviews and thematic networks as an analytical tool.

Setting:

The south west of England.

Participants:

Five first-time expectant fathers, four planning hospital births and one a home birth.

Findings:

All men involved in the study felt that they did have an influence over their partner's decision making regarding place of birth and this was confirmed by the data. However, this influence was often exerted with limited, second-hand information surrounding available birthing options. Themes identified in forming men's views and subsequent influence regarding place of birth included information, myths, time constraints, and risk perception.

Conclusions:

Men perceive that they are influencing their partners' decisions regarding place of birth but in many cases this influence is being exerted with very little knowledge. This highlights a need to acknowledge the importance of the man's role in childbirth decision making by providing men with accurate, consistent information delivered in an inclusive, men-focused way in order that they can, in conjunction with their partners, make an informed choice about where their babies will be born.

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