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Keywords:

  • pregnancy;
  • family needs/relations

Purpose: To survey paternal worries, concerns, streses, or problems and the type of support received by men whose partners were prescribed antepartum bed rest at home, or in the hospital, or both.

Design: Descriptive retrospective. A national subsmaple of 59 men whose mates were on pregnancy bed rest were randomly selected in 1995 from a nonrandom select sample of individuals who had contacted a bed-rest support group for information.

Methods: The Paternal Bed Rest Questionnaire of open-ended questions designed to detail paternal concerns, stresses, and supports was mailed to fathers.

Results: Major problems for fathers were assuming multiple roles, managing emotional responses, and caring for their partner. The major paternal worry was for the health of mate and fetus. Coping strategies included using tangible assistance; altering cognitive, behavioral, and emotional responses; and verbalizing worries. Fahers reported receiving little assistance from health care providers.

Conclusions: Fathers experience extreme stress when pregnancy bed rest is prescribed for a mate. Family-centered care should include care of the partner whose mate is at high-risk. Interventions that ruduce paternal worry and provide emotional and tangible support are needed.