Online Program

Expecting Mom-Expecting Dads Pilot Study (EMED): Developing and evaluating the feasibility of increasing paternal engagement during group prenatal care in urban setting

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Emmanuel Ngui, DrPH, MSc, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health,, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Dawn Groshek, MA, Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Foundation, Milwaukee,, WI
Lisa Lockett, CNM, Women’s Outpatient Clinic, Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Hospital, Milwaukee, WI
Patrick Fendt, MSW, The Parenting Network, Milwaukee, WI
Samantha Stewart, MPH, University of Minnesota Extension, Pine River, MN
Background: African-Americans experience a disproportionate burden of adverse birth outcomes. Increasing interest exists in examining the role of paternal engagement in improving birth outcomes. The “Expecting Mom-Expecting Dads” pilot project sought to improve birth outcomes by better integrating and engaging fathers as supportive partners during pregnancy. 

Design/Methods: We used a mixed methods approach (focus groups and survey) of urban African-American fathers to: 1) identify barriers/facilitators of paternal engagement during pregnancy, and 2) inform the adaptation of the CenteringPregnancy® prenatal care (PNC) curriculum used in a pilot intervention targeting African-American couples.  Analysis included comparison of birth outcomes and one group pilot pre-post survey scores.

Results:  Women initiated PNC between 6 and 14 weeks gestation, had 12 to 15 visits, and delivered term (39 to 41 weeks gestation) infants with an average birthweight of 3675 grams (range 3345g-3935g). Couples rated the enhanced curriculum very high in quality of PNC received, material covered, breakout sessions and quality of instructors.  Attending PNC with partner was beneficial and provided couples with different perspectives on pregnancy.  Paternal engagement barriers included: provider attitude towards minority fathers, limited pregnancy knowledge, stress, and unsupportive structural and economic policies on fathers.  Facilitators included active inclusion/linkage of fathers to resources and creating positive/supportive PNC environment that fosters paternal engagement.

Conclusion: Healthcare providers should be responsive to paternal needs during pregnancy. Findings suggest that enhancing group PNC programs to better engage fathers can be instrumental in enhancing maternal support, reducing stress, and increasing knowledge and engagement of father during and after delivery.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Discuss perspectives of African American fathers on how they can be better engaged by providers during pregnancy Identify some key barriers and facilitators of paternal engagement during prenatal care Discuss the feasibility and birth outcomes of an enhanced paternal engagement Centering Pregnancy intervention for African-American couples.

Keyword(s): Partner Involvement, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i designed and conducted the study in collaboration with my community partners
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.