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Review

The Paternal Experience of Fear of Childbirth: An Integrative Review

1
St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, D08K7YW Dublin, Ireland
2
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, V94X5K6 Limerick, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Russell S. Kirby
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031231
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 January 2021 / Published: 29 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Influences on Child Health and Wellbeing)
Background: It is estimated that approximately 13% of expectant fathers experience a pathological and debilitating fear of childbirth. Objective: The aim of this integrative review was to examine and synthesise the current body of research relating to paternal experience of fear of childbirth. Methods: A systematic literature search of five databases—CINAHL, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PsycArticles and PsycInfo—identified seventeen papers. Methodological quality of studies was assessed using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool. Results: Thematic data analysis identified three themes: the focus of fathers’ childbirth-related fears, the impact of fear of childbirth on health and wellbeing, and fear of childbirth as a private burden. Discussion: Fear of childbirth is a significant and distressing experience for expectant fathers who may benefit from an opportunity to express their childbirth-related fears in an environment where they feel validated and supported. Antenatal education is recommended to enhance fathers’ childbirth-related self-efficacy to reduce fear of childbirth. Conclusions: Fear of childbirth may negatively impact the lives of men and consequently their families. Further investigation into methods and models for identifying and supporting men at risk of or experiencing fear of childbirth is required to improve outcomes for this population of men. View Full-Text
Keywords: fear of childbirth; fathers; perinatal mental health fear of childbirth; fathers; perinatal mental health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moran, E.; Bradshaw, C.; Tuohy, T.; Noonan, M. The Paternal Experience of Fear of Childbirth: An Integrative Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031231

AMA Style

Moran E, Bradshaw C, Tuohy T, Noonan M. The Paternal Experience of Fear of Childbirth: An Integrative Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(3):1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031231

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moran, Emma, Carmel Bradshaw, Teresa Tuohy, and Maria Noonan. 2021. "The Paternal Experience of Fear of Childbirth: An Integrative Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 3: 1231. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031231

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