Fathering in the First Few Months

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Becoming a parent is a major event in life. Pregnancy is a time when both physical and emotional changes affect the lives of expectant parents as they prepare for parenthood. The aim of this study was to focus on fathers during and shortly after pregnancy. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted in all hospital prenatal clinics in the county council of Västernorrland, Sweden. Participating were 827 partners of women who had been pregnant and given birth during the period of June 2007 to June 2008. Data were collected using three questionnaires. Regression analysis showed that fathers who were most concerned about their new role were those that were university educated, first-time fathers, and those with financial worries. Support from the midwife or others close to the father did not impact fathers’ thoughts about the difficulties of being a parent during pregnancy, but lack of support from the partners after the birth increased fathers’ concern. This study suggests that more research is needed on fathers’ own needs for support in parenting.