According to the psychoanalytical, theoretical framework, the father-infant relationship established during pregnancy, through the construction of a mental image of the infant andthrough father-infant interaction, has important consequences for the father-infant relationship after the birth. The aim of this study was to investigate the expectations and feelings of the father-to-be regarding his baby. Thirty-five first-time fathers, aged 21 to 40, who lived with the baby's mothers, participated in this study. The mothers were all primiparas. The fathers were interviewed individually at home. An analysis of qualitative content revealed that few fathers reported difficulties in imagining the baby. In general, they showed that they had already constructed a mental image of the baby, imagining its physical and psychological characteristics, as well as its sex. They also participated in the choice of the baby's name and expressed concerns as to the child's health.
Baby; Pregnancy; Expectations; Fatherhood; Emotions