274586 Defining paternal support during pregnancy: A NHSA community perspective

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Amina Alio, PhD , Department of Community & Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Background: Defining male involvement and support during pregnancy is essential for the development of future research and appropriate interventions to optimize services aiming to improve birth outcomes. Methods: The project consisted of 5 focus group discussions conducted on March 6th and 7th, 2011, with participants of the National Healthy Start Association in Washington, D.C. A total of 50 mothers and fathers (37 females, 13 males) took part in the discussions. Focus groups were conducted by trained moderators and then transcribed for thematic and categorical analyses. Results: The specific roles of male involvement and descriptions of male support during pregnancy were clearly denoted by participants. The ideal father or male partner was described as present, accessible, available, understanding, willing to learn about the pregnancy process and eager to provide emotional (e.g., encouragement, positive affirmation, empathy, patience), physical (e.g., help around the house, encouraging proper diet and exercise), and financial (e.g., helping maintain the bills, staying employed) support to the woman. Participants emphasized the importance of having a sense of “togetherness” during the pregnancy. Participants made several recommendations and suggestions including: creating male-targeted prenatal programs, enhancing current interventions targeting females, and increasing health provider's awareness of the importance of men's involvement during pregnancy. Conclusions: The recommendations made by the participants are valid and deserve additional attention for prenatal program enhancement, as well as for additional research to help inform policy and future development of interventions to increase the involvement of fathers.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Define paternal support during pregnancy 2. Discuss a theoretical framework for paternal involvement during pregnancy

Keywords: Pregnancy Outcomes, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on fathers' involvement and maternal and child health outcomes and have served as principal or co-investigator of several research projects on the subject. My primary focus area has been the impact of fathers' absence on pregnancy outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.