Research indicates that developing prenatal care offices where fathers feel more comfortable may increase their involvement with prenatal care. As Albuja and teammates report, “A father’s involvement in prenatal care engenders health benefits for both mothers and children. . . . three studies tested whether the inclusion of environmental cues that represent men and fatherhood in prenatal care offices influenced men’s beliefs and behavioral intentions during the perinatal period. Men in studies 1 and 3 viewed online videos of purported prenatal care offices, while men in study 2 visited the office in person. Those who viewed or were immersed in a father-friendly prenatal care office believed that doctors had higher expectations of father involvement compared to treatment-as-usual. This perception predicted greater parenting confidence, comfort, and behavioral intentions to learn about the pregnancy and engage in healthy habits, such as avoiding smoking and alcohol during their partner’s pregnancy. . . . results suggest that shifting environment office cues can signal fathering norms to men in prenatal settings, with healthier downstream behavior intentions.” Cues in prenatal care offices that support fathers’ involvement include photos of fathers with babies, for example.
Analia Albuja, Diana Sanchez, Shawna Lee, Joyce Lee, and Stacy Yadava. 2019. “The Effect of Paternal Cues in Prenatal Care Settings on Men’s Involvement Intentions.” PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 5, e021645, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.one.0216454