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Demanding and challenging: Men's experiences of living with a pregnant woman with pelvic girdle pain: An interview study

Journal article
Authors Helen Elden
Ingela Lundgren
Eva Robertson
Published in Clinical Nursing Studies
Volume 2
Issue 4
Pages 17-29
ISSN 2324-7940
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 17-29
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.5430/cns.v2n4p17
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/141164
Keywords Experience, Pregnancy, Pelvic girdle pain, Qualitative interview study
Subject categories Other Health Sciences, Other Medical Sciences, Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified

Abstract

Background: Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a universally disabling condition affecting approximately 50% of pregnant women. Qualitative research describes how PGP leads to struggle in women’s daily lives, makes them question and doubt their roles and identities as professionals and mothers, and test their (marital) relationships. The purpose of this study was to describe men’s experiences of living with a pregnant woman with PGP. Methods: Participants were men whose pregnant partners participated in a project containing both qualitative and quantitative studies in 2009 to 2011. Interviews were conducted in person (n=18) or by telephone (n=8), lasting approximately 20-50 minutes. Sixteen men were interviewed during their wive’s pregnancies (M age = 30 years), eight men were re-interviewed within 12 months postpartum and two men were interviewed only postpartum (26 interviews). Results: Three major categories emerged: having no knowledge of PGP, a period of emotional and physical strain, and merging. Pregnancy in a woman with PGP caused men to alter focus from themselves to their partners and family. They expressed worry, powerlessness, inadequacy, and a need for support. They had to adapt and cope, both demanding and challenging. However, they stressed that relationships with their older children improved, and that they and their partners had succeeded in becoming a team. Conclusions: The findings indicated a need for greater focus from midwives and other health care providers on the psychological impact of PGP on the man/partner. This is important, not only for men but for their respective women as well, whereby men influence their partner’s health.

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