Download Full Text (297 KB)
Background: There are few resources that address the postpartum time period in fathers and the transition period of becoming a new parent specifically for males (Goldstein et al., 2020). Males experience postpartum symptoms almost as frequently as women (Madsen, 2009); however, men display different symptoms than women and are often not thought of because they did not physically carry the infant (O’Connell-Binns, 2009). The transition period for becoming a new parent is stressful on males as well as females, yet the male role is not always clear for the individuals (Asenhed et al., 2014).
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to create more opportunities and resources for males experiencing stressors associated with becoming a new father to increase occupational participation and performance. A research study can offer greater insight into the experience of males during the postpartum period and identify the occupational impact and needs from these individuals. Understanding the experience of males with postpartum symptoms of stress can help create more awareness and inform resources to support not only new fathers themselves, but also their loved ones. Occupational therapy can offer a holistic approach to better understand the different factors that have impacted the individual, in relation to the environment, roles, and occupations to promote a smoother transition. Additional education and resources can be created to investigate the impact fatherhood has on occupation with the hopes to increase occupational performance. Males have expressed a lack of resources and feeling as though they were not treated as equals to the mother during their transition to fatherhood (Baldwin et al., 2018). Furthermore, advocating for this population within other health care settings and encouraging screening and/or asking questions early on to address any concerns during the transition period.
Methods/Results: New fathers experience a decrease in occupational participation after becoming a father. There were difficulty reported with time management, a lack of overall education in regards to fatherhood, and change in daily routine and occupational participation.
Conclusion: This capstone project, the purpose of this mixed methods research project was to analyze information about new fathers transition into parenthood and the impact that has on daily occupations. With the assumption of occupations being altered with the transition into fatherhood being proven true, this project supports how occupational therapists can become more involved with new fathers. While this study shows that there is a change in daily routines and a decrease in occupational performance, there is a lack of specific interventions and what can be done to assist this population. Occupational therapy can be implemented to provide educational tools to increase overall knowledge and create a needs assessment/interest check list to provide individualistic care with the hope to increase occupational participation.
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Medical Subject Headings
Fathers, Postpartum Period, Occupational Therapy, Needs Assessment, Surveys and Questionnaires
Sager, R., Park, K., & Bonsall, A. (2021, December 9). Occupational Therapy and The Transition into Fatherhood. Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, University of St Augustine for Health Sciences. Retrieved from https://soar.usa.edu/otdcapstonesfall2021/25