Exploring the lived experiences of a sample of South African fathers who had a premature baby
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Fatherhood and masculinity have been studied globally, and these constructs are used to make sense of a variety of realities of men. In South Africa, traditional constructions of fatherhood and masculinity persist. Given the unique history of men in South Africa, it allows researchers to investigate a plethora of phenomena relating to how men experience them, including fatherhood. Having a premature baby is fraught with medical and physical problems, which disrupts the fathers’ transition to fatherhood. The experience of the transition to parenthood is exacerbated by the sudden premature birth of a child, which leaves fathers and mothers particularly vulnerable to intense emotional experiences. Much has been documented about fathers’ subjective experiences of pregnancy, as well as fathers’ experiences of having a premature infant.