BACKGROUND: The model of family-assisted birth is an element of obstetric care that met with large interest, with the development of perinatology in numerous countries. The modern father is expected to more actively participate both during pregnancy and birth, and also in the childcare.
AIM: The comparative analysis of the parturient Polish women and the forms of activity of the fathers participating in family-assisted births in order to know which forms of father's activity correlate with the expectations of women in labor and define the range of tasks for the father (model of action for family-assisted birth) that would correspond to the preferences of parturient women.
METHODS: 250 parturient women and 250 fathers who participated in the delivery were included in the survey. Couples after physiological delivery with the participation of father in all stages of childbirth were qualified. The surveys were conducted in the first day after the childbirth. The survey tool was an author-developed survey questionnaire in two versions: (A) for the mother and (B) for the child's father who participated in the birth. The statistical calculations were performed with use of the Statistical PL software. The frequency of occurrence of respective quality (non-measurable) features was evaluated with χ² (chi-square) nonparametric test. The level of statistical significance adopted for tests was p<0.05.
RESULTS: The largest coherence between the form of father's activity and the expectations of the parturient woman was found in case of psychical support in every stage of the delivery. Another form of activity of fathers, that in 85% of cases was concurrent with the expectations of women in labor was the act of cutting the umbilical cord and the participation of father in the child measurements and tests (78.5% coherence) and the need of stay of father with the woman and the newborn in the post-delivery period (70% coherence).
CONCLUSIONS: Obstetric care should take the preferences, connected with family-assisted birth, of both parents into account. The model of active participation of father in family-assisted birth forms a practical guideline for fathers willing to actively participate in the childbirth.