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J Adv Nurs. 2012 Dec;68(12):2730-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.05978.x. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Fathers' emotional involvement with the neonate: impact of the umbilical cord cutting experience.

Author information

1
Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. soniamariabrandao@hotmail.com

Abstract

AIMS:

This paper is a report on a study analysing the effect of the umbilical cord cutting experience on fathers' emotional involvement with their infants.

BACKGROUND:

Participation in childbirth offers an opportunity for father and mother to share the childbirth experience, so it is vital that midwives improve the fathers' participation in this event.

DESIGN:

A quasi-experimental study with a quantitative methodology was implemented.

METHODS:

One hundred and five fathers were recruited as part of a convenience sample in a Maternity Public Hospital in a Metropolitan City in Portugal, between January and May of 2008. The Bonding Scale, the Portuguese version of the 'Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale' was used to evaluate the fathers' emotional involvement with the neonate at different moments: before childbirth, first day after childbirth and first month after childbirth. After childbirth, the fathers were divided into three separate groups depending on their umbilical cord cutting experience.

RESULTS:

The results demonstrate that the emotional involvement between father and child tends to increase during the first days after childbirth and to decrease when evaluated 1 month after birth, for fathers who did not cut the umbilical cord. However, fathers who cut the umbilical cord demonstrate an improvement in emotional involvement 1 month later.

CONCLUSION:

Results suggest that the umbilical cord cutting experience benefits the father's emotional involvement with the neonate, supporting the benefits of his participation and empowerment in childbirth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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