Parenting Teamwork: The impact of a fathering intervention on mothers and infants in Vietnam
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AbstractA multi-faceted, relationally-focused intervention involving group and individual pre-and post-natal counseling, print resources, and community resources encouraged 390 fathers of newborn infants in Vietnam to responsively support mothers and work with them as a parenting team. Both partners completed questionnaires pre-birth and 1, 4, and 9-months post-birth on measures of breastfeeding support, exclusive breastfeeding duration, relationship quality, and infant development. Compared to 412 comparison group couples, intervention couples evidenced greater father support, especially in terms of helping and responsiveness to the mother’s needs. This support predicted longer exclusive breastfeeding duration, improved relationship quality, and higher levels of infant development at 9 months. Sensitively working together with mothers as a coordinated team enhanced couple’s relationship functioning and improved children’s developmental outcomes.