Italian fathers' experiences of labour pain Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background: Most women in Italy ask the father of their baby to be with them during labour. While the benefits on labour outcomes related to the presence of a support person, specifically the infant's father, have largely been demonstrated, few studies have focused on the meaning of this experience for fathers who chose to be with their partners during labour. Despite growing literature on this topic, no study has been conducted in Italy. Methods: The objective of the study is to explain the meaning of the labour pain experience from the father's point of view. The chosen research method was phenomenology. The study involved six fathers. Data collection was conducted through in-depth interviews, until data saturation was reached. Data analysis was conducted using Colaizzi's method. Strategies for increasing trustworthiness were used, such as member checking, peer examination, and code and recode procedures. Results: Five core themes emerged to describe fathers' experiences, including: 1) ‘labour pain is something you have to go through’; 2) a silent presence that gives courage; 3) ‘I hope I can stay until the end of the birth’; 4) ‘I didn't know that would happen’; and 5) fathers' need to ‘recharge their batteries'. Conclusion: Fathers, or partners, are an important resource for women during their labour. However, it is important to prepare men for this role and to provide anticipatory guidance on what to expect during labour. It is important to recognise that the partner may need support or guidance from the midwife during labour. Dissemination of these findings to fathers will also help them to know that their feelings and experiences are common and shared by others.


  • Tarlazzi, Elena
  • Chiari, Paolo
  • Naldi, Enrico
  • Parma, Dila
  • Jack, Susan

publication date

  • March 2, 2015