Factors Predicting Paternal Fear of Childbirth Among Thais

Monday, 30 October 2017: 3:45 PM

Nantaporn Sansiriphun, PhD
Obstertricl & Gynecological Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

During their wives or partners’ pregnancy and childbirth, fathers will try to adapt themselves to deal with their emotions, feelings, and recent life changes. Fear of childbirth is an emotional response resulting from expectation, prediction, or previous experience with childbirth. Paternal fear of childbirth among fathers is caused by the prediction that childbirth could cause harm their wives and babies, so they fear childbirth. Such fear affects the mind and body of the father, as well as their role as a father. According to the literature review, fathers of different races had different paternal fears of childbirth depending on several factors: age, number of children, income level, participation in a childbirth preparation program, anxiety, self-esteem, and a social support network. The purpose of this predictive correlational research was to explore the factors predicting paternal fear of childbirth among Thai men. The samples included 250 Thai fathers who were voluntarily recruited from hospitals in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand from August 2015 to February 2016. The research tools were The Paternal Fear of Childbirth Questionnaire, The State - Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] form Y-1, Self-Esteem Visual Analog Scale, Social Support Questionnaire, and Demographic Data Form. Descriptive statistics and Stepwise multiple regression were used to analyze the data.

Results of the study revealed that:

  1. The mean score of the fathers’ fear of childbirth was 104.27 (SD = 36.50). They had very severe, severe, and moderate level of childbirth fear at 20.80%, 41.20%, and 31.60%, respectively.
  1. Regarding the analysis of predictive factors associated with fear of childbirth among fathers, it was found that factors that could predict fear of childbirth were anxiety, age of fathers, no attendance of a childbirth preparation program, and the number of giving births of their wives. In addition, for the sample group that did not attend the childbirth program, their fear of childbirth increased as much as 19 times, (ß = 19.11, SE = 4.47, 95% CI = -27.91-10.31). For the fathers with wives giving birth for the second time, fear of childbirth increased 11 times (ß = 11.05, SE = 4.76, 95% CI = 1.68-20.43). When the anxiety score increased by one point, fear of childbirth increased by 1.45 points, (ß = 1.45, SE = .43, 95% CI = 0.61-2.29). Regarding age, for each year that the father was older, the fear of childbirth fell by 0.79 (ß = -0.79, SE = .37, 95% CI = 1.53 - -22.01). Two variables, anxiety and age of the fathers, could significantly predict fear of childbirth at 36.80% (p <.001)

These findings suggest that nurses and midwives should encourage the father to attend a childbirth preparation program, develop strategies to decrease their fear of childbirth by reducing anxiety and providing support to meet the needs of each fathers’ age-group and the experience of fatherhood.