Experiences of fathers shortly after the birth of their preterm infants

Hugill, Kevin, Letherby, Gayle, Reid, Tilly ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5145-5879 and Lavender, Tina (2013) Experiences of fathers shortly after the birth of their preterm infants. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 42 (6). pp. 655-663. Full text not available from this repository.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1552-6909.12256


Objective: To explore the experiences of fathers shortly after the birth of their preterm infants.

Design/Method: A focused ethnography conducted over 33 months (2003–2006) in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a large U.K. National Health Trust (NHS) teaching hospital. Data were collected through participant observation, in‐depth interviews with fathers (n = 10), and an ethnographic survey distributed to NICU staff (n = 87). Practices and relationships with fathers were concurrently analyzed thematically through the conceptual perspective of emotion work.

Findings: Fathers’ emotional reactions to their experiences were described in three themes: emotional withdrawal and control, stereotyping, and mixed feelings. Fathers’ emotional behaviors were governed by complex, culturally determined conventions and expectations.

Conclusions: Fathers engaged in considerable effort to manage their emotions as they attempted to reconcile the tension between what they wanted to feel and what they thought others expected them to feel. The results of this study support the view that focusing on emotional externalities alone tends to underplay the amount of emotion work carried out by less expressive individuals; this “silent emotion work” was characteristic of the fathers in this study.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Publisher: Elsevier for Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
ISSN: 1552-6909
Departments: Academic Departments > Nursing, Health & Professional Practice (NHPP)
Additional Information: Tilly Reid, PhD, RN, RM, is a senior lecturer in advanced practice at the University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 15:12
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 12:01
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4976
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