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John Deaton


Ineffectively addressing a first-time fathers' perception of pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood by medical providers and other medical personnel, may lead to problems of inadequate support, increased tension, anger, concern, and fear at a personal level and between partners. The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological study was to explore the perspective of first-time fathers during pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood. The biopsychosocial model was used as the framework to provide the foundation for this study. Research questions addressed first-time fathers' biggest fears, deepest concerns, and most embarrassing questions related to pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood as well as the emotion and physical changes that a first-time father may encounter. Data from 12 participants was collected using one-on-one interviews. These interviews were analyzed, utilizing the biopsychosocial model as a guide for assessing social, psychological, and physical relationships and themes. Several themes were identified; including both positive and negative themes, such as mood swings, and watching the belly grow during pregnancy. During labor, themes such as, it was a life changing experience and fear of something happening to the baby or mom during labor weigh heavy on the minds of first time fathers. Themes identified in fatherhood included becoming more selfless and responsible, fear of making a mistake as a father, and the difficulties of fatherhood. The findings of this study will contribute to positive social change by providing a basis for developing appropriate and effective educational programs that will assist first-time fathers in optimizing their role throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood.

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