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Men's experience of their transition to first-time fatherhood during their partner's pregnancy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

  • Lee-Anne Meleagrou-Hitchens1
  • Carla Willig1

1Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, City University London, EC1V 0HB London, UK

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.102

Submitted: 13 March 2021 Accepted: 27 April 2021

Online publish date: 27 August 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Lee-Anne Meleagrou-Hitchens E-mail:

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This was a qualitative study employing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to capture the lived experiences and sense-making of seven male participants (aged 29–41), whose partner was in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and four superordinate themes emerged during the analysis: (1) Pushed and Pulled in Different Directions, (2) A Rollercoaster of Emotions, (3) A Long and Lonely Road and (4) Anticipating Fatherhood. The prenatal period seemed to constitute a turbulent time in the participants' lives and involved them experiencing intense, conflicting emotions and psychological states amidst a shifting sense of self, with few support resources available to them. Implications for counselling psychologists are discussed, with suggestions for future research made.


Transition to fatherhood; Expectant fathers; Father-to-be; Pregnancy; Prenatal period

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Lee-Anne Meleagrou-Hitchens,Carla Willig. Men's experience of their transition to first-time fatherhood during their partner's pregnancy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Men's Health. 2021.doi:10.31083/jomh.2021.102.


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