Susan Chandler completed her Masters in Nursing with Certificate in Midwifery at the University of Alberta in 1992. Since that time, she has been working first as a Clinical Nurse Educator and currently as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Women's Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton.
Becoming a Father: First-Time Fathers' Experience of Labor and Delivery
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
1997 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery
Volume 42, Issue 1, pages 17–24, January-February 1997
How to Cite
Chandler, S. and Field, P. A. (1997), Becoming a Father: First-Time Fathers' Experience of Labor and Delivery. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 42: 17–24. doi: 10.1016/S0091-2182(96)00067-5
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
In this study, ethnographic interviews were used to identify first-time fathers' experiences of the birth of their first child. Fourteen fathers were interviewed, and prenatal expectations of the experience are compared with the fathers' perceptions after the birth. Although the fathers expected to be treated as part of a laboring couple, they found that they were relegated to a supporting role. Initially the fathers were confident of their ability to support their wives, but they found that labor was more work than they had anticipated. They became fearful of the outcome, but hid these fears from their partners. Later, they found that their focus moved from their wives to their babies at the time of birth. The men all completed the experience with an enhanced respect for their wives. Fathers should be included in labor management plans and need support for their role as coach, particularly when their wives experience pain. They also need to be encouraged to eat and take a break from their wives' labor when appropriate.