Fathers’ Perspectives During Pregnancy, Postperinatal Loss

Authors

  • Joann O'Leary,

    Corresponding author
    1. Joann O’Leary, PhD, MPH, MS, is an adjunct faculty in the School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Clare Thorwick, RN.
      Address for correspondence: Joann O’Leary, PhD, MPH, MS, 3208 Rankin Road, NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418. E-mail: jandj@pro-ns.net.
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  • Clare Thorwick

    1. Clare Thorwik, RN Retired perinatal Nurse Clinician
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Address for correspondence: Joann O’Leary, PhD, MPH, MS, 3208 Rankin Road, NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418. E-mail: jandj@pro-ns.net.

Abstract

Objective:  To present information about the father's perspective during the experience of a pregnancy following perinatal loss.

Design:  Descriptive phenomenology.

Setting:  Interviews were done in a venue chosen by fathers (home, clinic).

Participants:  Ten fathers who had experienced a loss within the prior year and were currently with that partner in a subsequent pregnancy.

Four themes emerged:  Recognition, preoccupation, stoicism, and support.

Conclusions:  Participants describe the need to be recognized by others. The orderly conduct of their daily lives is disrupted by preoccupation with the pregnancy. They feel unable to share their own anxiety and fear because they want to protect the mothers. Societal pressure to “be strong” and the belief that “men don’t share” appear to inhibit fathers from getting support. Strategies to assess and support fathers emotionally at the time of loss and in the subsequent pregnancy need to be explored. JOGNN, 35, 78-86; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00017.x

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