Original Research

The expectations of fathers concerning care provided by midwives to the mothers during labour

Malmsey L.M. Sengane, Anna G.W. Nolte
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 17, No 1 | a527 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v17i1.527 | © 2012 Malmsey L.M. Sengane, Anna G.W. Nolte | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2009 | Published: 06 April 2012

About the author(s)

Malmsey L.M. Sengane, Nursing Science Department, University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus), South Africa
Anna G.W. Nolte, Department of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Midwives have been criticised for neglecting the expectations and needs of fathers. They either ignore the fathers or pressure them into becoming more involved than they would choose, if allowed to provide support to the mothers during labour. Whilst midwives are providing woman-centred care, it is important that they remember to involve the fathers in decision-making and to acknowledge their role, expectations and needs, because the birth of a child is one of the most important events in a person’s lifetime. This study focused on fathers’ expectations of the care provided to mothers by the midwives during labour. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual study design was utilised. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with fathers about the care provided to their partners or wives by midwives. Data were then analysed with an open descriptive method of coding that is appropriate for qualitative research. The results of the interviews were subsequently positioned within a holistic health-promotive nursing theory that encompassed body, mind and spirit. The results revealed that fathers saw the provision of comfort and support as the two main aspects for mothers in labour that they expected from midwives. The findings were that midwives should improve their communication skills with the mothers, as well as with the fathers if they are available. Fathers expected midwives to encourage them to accompany the mother during labour and to facilitate bonding between father, mother and baby. The results of this study should assist midwives to provide holistic quality care to mothers and fathers during labour.


Vroedvroue word daarvan beskuldig dat hulle nie voldoen aan die verwagtinge en behoeftes van die vaders nie. Vaders word, óf deur hulle geïgnoreer, óf druk word op hulle uitgeoefen om meer betrokke te raak as waarmee hulle gemaklik is, indien hulle wel toegelaat word om moeders te ondersteun tydens die kraamproses. Vroedvroue verskaf moeder-gesentreerde sorg, maar dit is nogtans belangrik dat hulle onthou om die vaders te betrek in die besluitneming en hulle rol, verwagtinge en behoeftes te erken omdat die geboorte van ‘n kind een van die belangrikste gebeurtenisse in hulle lewens is. Die studie het gefokus op vaders se verwagtinge van die sorg wat verskaf word aan moeders tydens kraam. ‘n Kwalitatiewe, eksploratiewe, beskrywende en kontekstuele navorsingsontwerp is gebruik. Data is ingesamel deur in-diepte onderhoude met vaders te voer oor die sorg wat aan hul vroue of metgeselle tydens die kraamproses verskaf word deur vroedvroue. Data is daarna geanaliseer deur ‘n oop beskrywende metode te gebruik wat toepaslik is vir kwalitatiewe navorsing. Die resultate van die onderhoude is vervolgens geposisioneer binne ‘n holistiese, gesondheids-bevorderende teorie wat verwys na liggaam, psige en gees. Die resultate toon dat gemak en ondersteuning die twee hoofkategorieë is wat verskaf moet word deur vroedvroue aan moeders tydens die kraamproses. Die ander kategorieë wat aangedui word in die resultate, is dat vroedvroue hulle onderlinge kommunikasievaardighede moet verbeter, asook hul kommunikasie met die moeders en vaders indien laasgenoemde beskikbaar is. Die vaders het van vroedvroue verwag om hulle aan te moedig om moeders by te staan tydens die kraamproses en om binding tussen vader, moeder en baba aan te moedig.


care; caring; expectations; fathers; labour; midwives


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Crossref Citations

1. Informing the development midwifery standards for practice: A literature review for policy development
Cate Nagle, Susan McDonald, Jane Morrow, Gina Kruger, Rhian Cramer, Sara Couch, Nicole Hartney, Julianne Bryce, Melanie Birks, Marie Heartfield
Midwifery  vol: 76  first page: 8  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2019.05.007