Nav: Home

Put more father friendly cues in OB/GYN offices, Rutgers-led study suggests

May 28, 2019

The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" might be just what the doctor ordered for expecting fathers.

A new Rutgers-led study finds that by adding a few subtle cues to prenatal care waiting rooms, such as photos of men and babies, and pamphlets and magazines aimed toward men, OBGYNS can get fathers more involved in prenatal care and increase healthier outcomes for women and infants.

The study, which appears in the journal Plos One, tested whether having father-friendly cues in OBGYN offices would improve men's involvement. The pictures, brochures and magazines in typical OBGYN offices tend to focus only on mothers. Seeing a balance of father- and mother-focused images may help men to better visualize and feel confident in their role in prenatal care, the researchers said.

"Research suggests that father involvement during pregnancy causes psychological and physical health benefits for mothers and children, yet fathers often don't get involved during that crucial period. Current norms in society hold men to lower expectations to be involved and many men say they are not sure what their role should be during this time, leading to often low involvement," said Analia Albuja, lead researcher and a graduate student of social psychology at Rutgers.

The researches created two simulated prenatal care waiting rooms. One included only pictures of women and infants as décor, and information and magazines aimed toward women. The other included these in addition to pictures of men and infants, and information and magazines aimed toward men. The men in the studies viewed or visited one of these two offices with their pregnant partners.

They found that men who visited the father-friendly office reported having a stronger belief that the doctors had a high expectation of fathers' involvement in prenatal care, than did the men who visited the strictly mother-oriented office.

The researchers found that this shift in the men's perceptions of what the doctors believed about a father's role, was key to shifting the men's confidence about parenting, intentions.

They found that shifting men's perceptions of doctor's beliefs including how much men believe that fathers play an essential role in infant health, was key to increasing men's confidence about parenting, intentions to learn more about pregnancy, and engaging in consonant health behaviors during pregnancy.

The men who believed doctors had higher expectations also reported that they would be more willing to learn about pregnancy and engage in healthy habits, such as avoiding smoking and alcohol during their partner's pregnancy. They also felt more comfortable and confident about their ability to be fathers.

"We should increase men's comfort and perceived expectations of involvement during pregnancy. This may be a simple intervention that would be easy for doctor offices to implement because of its low cost and scalability," said Diana Sanchez, co-author and professor of psychology at Rutgers-New Brunswick's School of Arts and Sciences. "If this intervention increases men's involvement in prenatal care, previous research suggests this should bring about healthier outcomes for women and infants, such as lower alcohol and tobacco use among mothers, and a lower likelihood of low birth weight infants."
-end-
The study's co-authors included Stacy Yadava, a physician at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and researchers from the University of Michigan.

Rutgers University

Related Pregnancy Articles:

Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity
Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit the development of 'male behavior' in mice.
The cost of opioid use during pregnancy
A new study published today by the scientific journal Addiction reveals that the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome -- often caused by mothers using opioids during pregnancy -- is increasing in the United States, and carries an enormous burden in terms of hospital days and costs.
New study: Pre-pregnancy BMI directly linked to excess pregnancy weight gain
It's well known that excessive weight gain during pregnancy can have a lasting negative impact on the health of a mother and her baby.
Pregnancy-specific β1-glycoproteins
Development of new strategies and novel drug design to treat trophoblastic diseases and to provide pregnancy success are of crucial importance in maintenance the female reproductive health.
Should hypothyroidism in pregnancy be treated?
When a woman becomes pregnant, many changes occur in her body.
Pre-pregnancy progesterone helps women with recurrent pregnancy loss
Women who have had two or more unexplained miscarriages can benefit from natural progesterone treatment before pregnancy, a new a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows.
Male pipefish pregnancy, it's complicated
In the upside-down world of the pipefish, sexual selection appears to work in reverse, with flashy females battling for males who bear the pregnancy and carry their young to term in their brood pouch.
Pregnancy leads to changes in the mother's brain
A study directed by researchers from the UAB and IMIM are the first to reveal how pregnancy causes long-lasting alterations in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother's ability to protect and interact with the child.
MRIs during pregnancy and outcomes for infants, children
In an analysis that included more than 1.4 million births, exposure to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during the first trimester of pregnancy compared with nonexposure was not associated with increased risk of harm to the fetus or in early childhood, although gadolinium MRI at any time during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of a broad set of rheumatological, inflammatory, or skin conditions and, possibly, for stillbirth or neonatal death, according to a study appearing in the Sept.
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to deliver vaginally than those who do not, and show no greater risk of preterm birth.

Related Pregnancy Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...