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The experience of African fathers from the Maghreb of nutrition of their newborn in the context of immigration to Quebec


Fathers’ experience of establishing a relationship with their child is key to their adapting to their new role as father. For immigrant fathers, the transition of immigration is added to that of parenthood. Immigration weakens the social network that plays a critical role in the post-natal period. Nurses working with families in the post-natal period do not always know how to support immigrant fathers so that they remain committed to their families while adapting to their new community. The objectives of this qualitative study were to identify the perceptions of fathers from the Maghreb regarding the father’s role and to explore their experience of the development of the father–child relationship in the context of breastfeeding. Semi-structured interviews incorporating critical incident technique and genograms were used to collect data from 12 fathers who had immigrated from the Maghreb within the previous 10 years. Based on analysis of the data, participants’ perceptions of their role as father and their experience with regard to developing a relationship with their newborn are presented. Based on the results, recommendations are made for clinical nursing practice, for research, and for family health education.