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J Perinat Educ. 2008 Spring;17(2):28-36. doi: 10.1624/105812408X298363.

Fathers' lived experiences of getting to know their baby while acting as primary caregivers immediately following birth.

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KERSTIN ERLANDSSON is a lecturer in the School of Health, Care, and Social Welfare at Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna/Västerås, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to describe the meaning of the father's lived experiences when taking care of his infant as the primary caregiver during the first hours after birth, when the infant was apart from the mother due to the mother's postoperative care. Fifteen fathers were interviewed between 8 days and 6 weeks after the birth. The results describe a movement toward father-child togetherness characterized by an immediate and gradual change within the father as he undertakes increasing responsibility while getting to know his child. The results can be discussed in antenatal classes in order to integrate the father's important role in the care of his infant, especially in a situation where the mother-infant dyad has been interrupted.


antenatal care; cesarean birth; childbirth education; father; separation

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