How do fathers feel after accompanying their partners in labour and delivery?

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2002 Jan;22(1):11-5. doi: 10.1080/01443610120101628.


This study aims to investigate fathers' experiences of labour and delivery and compare their emotions from different types of delivery. One hundred and twenty-one couples were given questionnaires following the delivery of their babies after labour before discharge from the hospital where they were required to rate their feelings on a visual analogue scale. Generally, fathers were keen to accompany their partners during labour, with 81% giving a score of 9 or above. Most of them found the experience rewarding and enjoyable, but they found operative delivery more traumatic compared to normal vaginal delivery (P=0.003 for caesarean section and P=0.032 for instrumental delivery) and expressed increased anxiety at caesarean sections in labour (P=0.005). Women underestimated their partners' positive experiences during labour and found them more helpful than their partners had felt. Both partners felt their relationships with each other had improved following their shared experiences irrespective of mode of delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Delivery, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires