Expectant fathers' worries and needs: data from a primary mental health care setting in Greece
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Day Center for the Care of the Mental Health of Women, NGO FAINARETI, Nea Smyrni, Greece
Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Eleni Tsolaridou   

Day Center for the Care of the Mental Health of Women (Perinatal Mental Health Disorders), NGO FAINARETI, Nea Smyrni, Greece
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A207
Traditionally, pregnancy has been viewed as a woman’s experience, with men having a supporting role. However, even though they often feel excluded, men want to take a more active role during pregnancy. The transition to fatherhood is a complex process that requires adaptation to the new role and the new circumstances in the family. When fathers feel that they have not been sufficiently informed and prepared for the new situation, they experience anxiety and stress. Because of the complexity of their new role, fathers need to be supported so that they can, in turn, support their partner and discover their own unique way of interacting with the infant.

This presentation aims to describe fathers group meetings, coordinated by a psychologist and a midwife, in the “Day Center for the Care of the Mental Health of Women (Perinatal Mental Health Disorders)”, a primary mental health care setting in Athens (Greece), funded by the Greek Ministry of Health. This Day Center was created in 2009 by Fainareti, a Non-Profit Organization that aspires to improve perinatal care in Greece through specialized midwifery and psychosocial intervention.

The meetings are exclusive to fathers and are aimed at creating a space where the participants can share personal experiences, express their questions, receive emotional support and learn newborn care skills (e.g. learn about breastfeeding and how to connect and communicate with the newborn).

Healthcare professionals, usually, focus their attention on the mother and the newborn, neglecting the fathers and the care they need during this critical period for their family. It is extremely important to focus attention on fathers, so that they also receive the required support, given that their presence and active participation will allow the emotional and practical support of the mother and the child, and benefit the family as a whole.

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