Men go to birthing classes for partner

Feb. 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM
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GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Men generally attend childbirth classes only for their partner's sake, even though they have questions and fears of their own, Swedish researchers say.

Thesis author midwife Asa Premberg of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden says almost all antenatal care centers in Sweden give parents an opportunity to attend childbirth classes in groups, and a Swedish National Institute of Public Health study found 46 percent of participants are men.

Childbirth classes, which are to prepare parents for childbirth and parenthood, are mainly aimed at the mothers-to-be, and the father-to-be see childbirth classes as a ritual they attend for their partner's sake, Premberg says.

"Men seem to have other sources of information ahead of childbirth, such as their workmates or relatives," Premberg says in a statement.

"Some of the dads said that they'd asked the midwife questions only for the midwife to direct her answers to the mum, it's important that men too have an opportunity to talk about their fears and ask the midwife questions if they're to feel it's worth taking part."

Premberg says the men reported their priorities were building their own relationship with the baby, mastering the overwhelming new task of fatherhood, not losing their sense of self and managing to look after the baby on their own.

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