This week the journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth accepted a new paper written by three Bournemouth University Psychologists. The paper ‘Be Quiet and Man Up: A Qualitative Questionnaire Study into Men Who Experienced Birth Trauma’ is written by Emily Daniels, Emily Arden-Close and Andrew Mayers  . The paper, using online questionnaires, argues that fathers reported that witnessing their partner’s traumatic birth affected them. They felt this affected their mental health and relationships long into the postnatal period. However, there is no nationally recognised support in place for fathers to use as a result of their experiences. The participants attributed this to being perceived as less important than women in the postnatal period, and maternity services’ perceptions of the father more generally. Implications include ensuring support is available for mother and father following a traumatic birth, with additional staff training geared towards the father’s role.
This paper adds to the growing pool of publications by Bournemouth University staff on men and maternity care. Earlier research work has been published in The Conversation  and the Journal of Neonatal Nursing [3-4].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal health (CMMPH) and Associate Editor BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Daniels, E., Arden-Close, E., Mayers, A. (2020) Be Quiet and Man Up: A Qualitative Questionnaire Study into Men Who Experienced Birth Trauma, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth (accepted).
- Mayers, A. (2017) Postnatal depression: men get it too, The Conversation, 20 November https://theconversation.com/postnatal-depression-men-get-it-too-87567
- Ireland, J., Khashu, M., Cescutti-Butler, L., van Teijlingen, E., Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2016) Experiences of fathers with babies admitted to neonatal care units: A review of the literature, Journal of Neonatal Nursing 22(4): 171–176.
- Fisher, D., Khashu, M, Adama, E, Feeley, N, Garfield, C, Ireland, J, Koliouli F, Lindberg, B., Noergaard, B., Provenzi, L., Thomson-Salo, F., van Teijlingen, E (2018) Fathers in neonatal units: Improving infant health by supporting the baby-father bond & mother-father co-parenting Journal of Neonatal Nursing 24(6): 306-312 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnn.2018.08.007