Researchers in Sweden recently published a study in the journal Midwifery showing older men are less likely to have a positive experience during pregnancy and childbirth than younger men. Despite feelings of anxiety, older men considered intrapartum care more effective and satisfying than younger men. The intrapartum period is the time from the beginning of cervical-dilating contractions until one to four hours after delivery.

The study included first-time fathers placed in varying age groups: young, less than 27 years, average, 28 to 33 years, and advanced age, more than 34 years. A total of 777 men contributed to the study via questionnaires regarding pregnancy and labor expectations and experience during childbirth.

Conclusion: Older men reported having negative or mixed feelings about the pregnancy. The same group of men reported more difficult labor and delivery for their partners. After birth, older men tended to be comfortable with the care received during pregnancy. Young men were at the opposite end of the spectrum feeling less comfortable with pregnancy care, yet more comfortable with experiences during pregnancy, including their partner's experiences duringlabor and delivery.

Source: Schytt E, Bergström M. First-time fathers' expectations and experiences of childbirth in relation to age. Midwifery. 2013 Mar 7. pii: S0266-6138(13)00052-1. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.01.015.