Aim: To explore the birth experiences of teenage fathers and determine the extent to which they are prepared for childbirth.

Methods: A mixed methods observational study was undertaken comparing the birth experience of 50 fathers in the setting of teenage pregnancy (teenage) compared to a group of 50 older fathers. Fathers were recruited in the antenatal period and completed structured questionnaires following the birth of their child. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was undertaken.

Results: Teenage fathers were younger, less educated and less likely to attend prenatal childbirth education classes (P < 0.0001). During birth, they were less prepared and consulted by attending staff (both P < 0.05). They reported limited roles in intrapartum decision-making (< 20%). In multivariate analysis being a father in the setting of teenage pregnancy remained significantly associated with feeling unprepared for birth. The major themes in qualitative analysis were feeling unprepared, shock, fear, a sense of detachment, happiness, pride, love of the baby and satisfaction with fertility.

Conclusion: Teenage fathers are less prepared for the birth of their child and this results in shock, fear and detachment that may impact on the early father-infant relationship.

© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.


fathers, preparation for childbirth, teenage fathers, teenage pregnancy, childbirth education, birth

Link to Publisher Version (URL)