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South African Journal of Child Health

versão On-line ISSN 1999-7671
versão impressa ISSN 1994-3032


DRYSDALE, R E; STEMMING, W; MAKUSHA, T  e  RICHTER, L M. Male partners' experiences of early pregnancy ultrasound scans in Soweto, South Africa: The Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby randomised trial. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2022, vol.16, n.2, pp.72-76. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND: Despite international evidence highlighting the benefits of male partners attending antenatal visits, including pregnancy ultrasound scans, it is unusual for South African (SA) men to attend such visits, and little is known about their experiences if they do OBJECTIVES: To explore the experiences and antenatal attachment among male partners who attend early pregnancy ultrasound examinations in Soweto, SA METHODS: Pregnant women attending ultrasound examinations were invited to bring their partners with them. Both completed individual questionnaires, including the antenatal attachment scale. The results are based on a descriptive analysis of 102 mother-partner pairs RESULTS: The mean age of partners was 35 years. Only 32% of men were living with their pregnant partner. Before the ultrasound scan, 64% of men reported feeling very anxious, while 54% also felt anxious after the procedure. The ultrasound examination had a positive effect on men and their thoughts regarding their developing baby, with 30% stating that they were ready or excited to be a father. Twenty-eight percent believed their relationship with the mother was stronger as a result of participating in antenatal care CONCLUSIONS: We found that prenatal ultrasound scans had a positive effect on male partners and their thoughts about the pregnancy, their forthcoming child and their relationship with and support for their partner. Health services in SA should accommodate partners/ fathers and encourage them to attend antenatal care, including pregnancy ultrasound scans. Interventions are needed to encourage more men to be involved - from conception - potentially addressing individual, familial, societal and structural barriers to involvement of the father in long-term maternal and child care

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