Father-specific education in the inpatient setting
Smith, Pamela Alejandra
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The early postpartum period is an important period of time to prepare mothers and fathers for parenthood. Father's involvement in children's lives has shown to be beneficial for the child's health and the entire family dynamics too. Evidence shows that parental education increases knowledge and confidence levels in parents. Currently, the majority of educational efforts and programs target mothers, leaving men with none or minimal tools to succeed as fathers of a newborn. A major goal of Healthy People 2020 in relation to children's health is a ten percent reduction in infant and neonatal deaths. One key approach for reaching this goal includes increasing the amount of educational and community based programs for infant and child health to increase knowledge in parents (both mothers and fathers) of safe practices with infants and children. This pre/post-quasi-experimental project was designed to evaluate gender specific education and changes in parental confidence level when exposed to educational literature. The project was implemented in the maternity unit at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Billings, Montana. With a total of 32 fathers as participants. Results of the project indicated an overall maintenance or improvement of parent confidence level evidenced by a maintenance or increase in Karitane Parenting Confidence Scale scores. Results of the project are expected to facilitate fathers' responsiveness to baby and better bonding of baby to father in the immediate future. Outcomes are expected to lead to positive consequences in children's health and development. Results also indicate the educational intervention with fathers was overall successful in fulfilling the purpose of this scholarly project.