Stressed fathers needed for research
Witnessing a loved one give birth, especially for the first time, is both an anxiety provoking and exhilarating experience.
Yet for many fathers childbirth was not the joyous experience they hoped for. Having a baby is an extraordinary event in a man’s life, but many men do not receive the support they need. Some suffer from symptoms resembling post-traumatic stress disorder.
“ There is no published research on how post-traumatic stress disorder following childbirth affects fathers,” says Associate Professor Gillian White.
“ We know that a small percentage of women suffer a distressing birth yet we know little about what it is like for fathers who witness a traumatic birth.”
“ It is important that men’s feelings are recognised for proper advice to be offered,” she says. Dr White and Gregg LaHood are looking for men who are willing to tell their story of witnessing their partner give birth in a situation which caused prolonged stress.
It does not matter how long ago the experience was or which child it involved.
Participants can write their stories down in a letter or email attachment. Alternatively they may wish to record their stories on tape or speak to one of the researchers personally.
“When a new mother is unwell or unhappy it affects all the family,” says Professor White.
“Similarly if the new father is feeling stressed and traumatised following birth it affects his partner and family also. By learning more about what fathers experience, health professionals will be able to provide guidance and avoid potentially serious consequences.”
For further information contact: Associate Professor Gillian White G.White@massey.ac.nz