Parenting today is a company shared by both mothers from fathers: think also about greater participation of the father, from gestation to birth.

Only recently the company has begun to argue that parenting is a company shared by both mothers from fathers. One of the most significant signs of change that has affected the couple and the father-son relationship is the greater participation of the father from gestation to birth.

Until now almost all of the research and books on the subject of parenting have focused on the figure of the mother and its role in the relationship with the newborn baby.

Fatherhood has remained in the background, like a taken for granted: if the material has been for centuries called an instinct, the paternal will is configured as a role mainly economic-disciplinary, which well fulfills if not proceed to family needs by delegating household activities and care to the mother.

The fathers then have a tendency to interpret new responsibilities at the outer level, to focus on providing the family with everything you need to consider their responsibilities in terms of economic seen. This material concern is due to the fact that for a long time there was no talk of emotion father, the case for centuries avoided because in opposition to an unspoken rule according to which man must be strong and male. The prevailing culture in most societies has in fact always fueled the stereotype that masculinity difficult to reconcile with the expression of feelings being almost always the women delegated to it and indicating how unbecoming for men refer to their world private, personal.

The emotions in new fathers

For a long time then the primary concern for the father after birth has been to provide for the family financially: focus on work provided his father also a clear role, a sure goal that served to reduce the confusion and uncertainty that characterize the first period after the birth of a child.

The invisibility of his father due to the distance from their children for work goes hand in hand with full assumption of the educational role of women while undermining the function of the father in this area. Only recently the company has begun to argue that parenting is a company shared by both mothers from fathers. One of the most significant signs of change that has affected the couple and the father-son relationship is the greater participation of the father from gestation to the birth of the child, further demonstrated by its presence in the delivery room. Today it is customary for future dads to participate in some meetings of the prenatal courses, are present for the birth of children, change their diapers, read fairy tales, are awake at night to lull babies and wear the baby carriers. It seems that the expression of affect and involvement in certain activities of care towards their children are no longer perceived as unsuitable, if not menacing, the paternal-masculine role.

Few, in fact, the psychological research that also take into account the father during the prenatal period and when it is done is only marginally or indirectly; this probably is due to the major difficulties found to involve fathers and to the fact that men rarely have paused to reflect on the emotional aspects of fatherhood, having a tendency to speak more in terms of facts and in terms of experiences.

It was found that the difficulties in the relationship, lack of social support, and in particular of their partner, the absence of a person to confide in are considered relevant factors for mental health problems in women and the onset of postpartum depression; Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that affects 10-20% of women in the immediate postpartum characterized by crying spells, mood changes, general irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia or difficulty opposite staying awake, lack of interest in daily activities and / or to the newborn. One can, therefore, assume that involve the father in the interventions can produce better results in the prevention of illnesses that may arise in the woman and the couple after the birth of a child. Other research also shows that the interaction of fathers with their infant’s children may exert a positive influence on child development.

For many men to become a father is an achievement long dreamed of, a goal of life realized. For others, however, is an event long-delayed, often avoided, not always sought and wanted, even when it is realized in fact, despite the different experiences all people inevitably live deep emotional experiences in the vicinity of the event the birth of their child, but what is striking is that few men can really tell and talk about all this with someone. The emotional experience of the new fathers still remains an unexplored mystery, an internal event of which we know very little.

To better understand the feelings and emotions of the new father, in 2006 at the birth point of Montecchio Emilia, they were involved in method 118 fathers at their first experience, consecutively afferent Hospital, are it was assessed using a questionnaire specifically constructed with Likert scale, administered before and after childbirth. The aim was to investigate how the fathers are living the expectation of the child and what feelings and emotions develop after birth, to also assess whether the mode of delivery, affects their experience and if participation in an accompanying course at birth is a facilitating element in the parent-child relationship. The responses to questionnaires administered before delivery have emerged awareness of their role of father, the knowledge of the newborn skills, the desire to take care of the child without delegating others, the desire to take center stage alongside her mother.

The questionnaire administered after the birth defects strong emotions, desire for physical contact with the baby, protective feelings, happiness and tenderness at the sight of the first breastfeed. There were no significant differences between the fathers who participated in the preparation classes at birth and those who did not participate; also the mode of delivery (spontaneous or operating) does not seem to affect the lives of the fathers. Most of these new fathers were well aware of the importance of their support against both the mother of the child; many have made clear the desire for physical contact with the child, to which expressed protective and tender feelings; the sentiments expressed to the child’s views are profound results and not very manly, and many dads have declared an intention to take care of the child without delegating this task to others. And is likely that these fathers overestimate their skills and intentions, and that the proof of the facts instead show less active and insecure, but we must recognize that their perceptions were rich and profound.

At the ASL of Varese finding Pellai 2009 reports that present and involved, new fathers are still struggling to recognize, validate and share with other men and with their partner their internal states associated with their upcoming parenting experience. It is important, say the researchers, help men to conquer a new emotional awareness, recognizing and giving words to the many emotions that crowd in their intrapsychic world as they approach the status of fathers.

The international literature has focused on fathers and their experience. In a 1991 study, Angela D. Henderson and A. Jenise Brouse have conducted research that has shown that the transition to parenthood is a stressful event, recognizing through literature that the father’s role in American society was changing. The purpose of this qualitative study was to clarify the understanding of the experience of new fathers during the first 3 weeks after giving birth: they have interviewed in their homes 22 fathers; the results suggested that new fathers go through a predictable process in three phases during the transition to parenthood.

Other studies of Richard J. Fletcher, Stephen Matthey and Christopher G Marley (2006) have shown that fathers can be unintentionally marginalized in the prenatal period from the Services and companions. They found that there was a growing recognition of the fact that depression and anxiety fathers in the prenatal period can have serious consequences for the new family, and emphasized how health services could better support new fathers by providing information on parenting from the father’s perspective or allowing them to follow specific meetings as part of routine antenatal care programs.

Those involved in parenting knows that reaching parents during pregnancy is the best time to grasp its proactive collaboration listening to theoretical issues and practices that go to sensible the psychological experience. Parents and torque partners more aware of family dynamics and the very first newborn child development will have more opportunities to generate virtuous circles of balanced emotions in their small and inevitably in it’s nuclear and extended family context.

Currently, it does not seem to be the time of prevention is it psychological, educational or social but of assistance, emergencies and perhaps the frustration of seldom perceive the success of actions aimed at solving the problem.

Working with parents in the path of accompaniment at birth could really determine a privileged space for the maturation of development paths and competence, even in the parents who had expressed his independent and that both feel of having to hide, that both are struggling to ask for help.

Working with dad would then twofold experience in terms of positive effects: it would significantly influence the psychological and medical health of mothers struggling with demanding changes related to the body and mind are not always welcomed. The couple’s relationship would also be better supported by a partner dad not to force more present as the stereotype would have us credence- but rather more conscious emotionally. There is Italian experience at the Somma Lombardo Counseling where he expected an early intervention model aimed at men and called Daddy Day circle. This project is designed to support the paternal function in the period of pregnancy and the first six months of the infant’s life and is intended to promote the emotional and affective involvement condiment father of their child, improving the mother-father-child triangulation and facilitating the development of secure attachment in infancy – says Alberto Pellai conductor of the meetings with the new fathers.

The father of the circle is the first experiment of its kind, and given the response and participation that obtained by the involved dad, could become an example of good practice which inspired to replicate the same experience in other realities and contexts so that you create a cultural event in which birth mom and dad together enable their participation in childbirth preparation courses.

The psychological prevention with parent training (courses for parents). You could intercept the expectant couple already during the obstetrician-gynecological examinations, where it would be possible to propose the participation in moments dedicated so the labor / delivery as already is done by midwives, but also of all those psychological dynamics related to the period of waiting, and then continue to meet even after birth. And in fact, with the happy event ending the so-called antenatal class today with a visual extension also terminology and meaning – accompaniment at birth, the point of view of prevention, however, is precise to not greet each other with the birth but continue with their parents a path to knowledge of the role of parenting and child development. Subsequently, with the inclusion of the early educational services such as nurseries and kindergartens, educational prevention could go to physiologically relevant education personnel. This would be in my opinion a way to work on both the parental couple that the involvement of fathers who could devote moments (as well as the mothers) do not necessarily torque, moving closer to the experience of the father’s circle.

The reflection on the role of parental skills and knowledge of psychological development of the aforementioned child is to be proposed also to pediatricians who are to convey in their omniscient profession, some medicine, but a lot of psychological counseling; for some pediatricians is the flavor of their mission, for others it can be a source of professional burnout.