The Influence of Birth Setting on the Father's Behavior Toward His Partner and Infant

Authors

  • Ruta Westreich M.A.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
      Address correspondence to Ruta Westreich, Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, 4333 Côte de Ste. Catherine, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E4, Canada.
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  • Liliane Spector-Dunsky Ph.D.,

    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
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  • Michael Klein M.D.,

    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
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  • Apostolos Papageorgiou M.D.,

    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
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  • Michael Kramer M.D.,

    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
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  • Morrie Gelfand M.D.

    1. Ruta Westreich and Liliane Spector-Dunsky are from the Department of Psychiatry, Michael Klein is Professor of Family Medicine, Apostolos Papageorgiou is Chief of Neonatology, and Morrie Gelfand is Chief of Obstetrics at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish Hospital/McGill University; Michael Kramer is from the Department of Pediatrics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and senior investigator of the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec.
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Address correspondence to Ruta Westreich, Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, 4333 Côte de Ste. Catherine, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E4, Canada.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: As part of a controlled, clinical trial conducted to compare medical and psychological outcomes of a birth room and a conventional hospital setting, we examined the behavior of fathers toward their partners and infants. One hundred fourteen couples were systematically assigned to either locale by strict alternation. They learned about this allocation on arrival at the hospital in labor. Observations of fathers' behavior were made at midlabor and during home visits at three months and one year. During labor, fathers assigned to the conventional setting were more involved in helping and encouraging their partners. Parenting behavior was not influenced by the birth setting. Unexpectedly, fathers were more involved with their infants when the mothers had expressed less satisfaction with childbirth. Compensation behavior may explain these results, which can be seen as appropriately adaptive in the face of perceived environmental deficiencies affecting the laboring woman and the infant.

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