Examples included an anesthetist who stepped out of an operating room to show a waiting father a photo of his new baby on an iPhone, staff who kept a diary of a newborn baby's day in a neonatal unit separated from the mother, and a midwife who greeted a woman with major bleeding arriving in an ambulance with a monitor so she could hear her baby's heartbeat and know nothing had happened to him, said Lisa Hinton of the Health Experiences Research Group at Oxford University in England, who conducted interviews with mothers and fathers.
Severe complications in labor and childbirth aren't common, but doctors and midwives who don't see many cases, might not be aware of what follow-up care could help, the study said.
The study also found severe and life-threatening complications in pregnancy have a big impact on fathers as well as mothers.
"Many of these emergencies happen during labor or immediately after, and involve severe bleeding," study leader Marian Knight of Oxford University said. "The mums are severely ill and need lots of care. And while everyone is running around looking after mum, it can affect dads too."
Hinton compiled the study's findings as a new resource for the patient website www.healthtalkonline.org.