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Table 1 A summary of the midwifery-led counselling sessions’ content

From: The effect of midwifery-led counseling on expectant fathers’ fear of childbirth: a smartphone- based randomized controlled trial

Session 1 • Providing information about pregnancy and childbirth to enhance fathers’ knowledge regarding the physical and psychological changes of their spouses
• Providing information about preparation and planning for delivery, and pain relief methods
• Explaining and practicing the relaxation techniques
• Homework assignment (exercising the relaxation techniques)
Session 2 • Describe the changes resulting from the birth of a baby in the family
• Introducing the necessary strategies to promote the positive birth experience and increase the ability to accept paternal roles and responsibilities
• Exercising the relaxation technique
• Homework assignment (exercising relaxation technique and daily recording of experienced emotions)
Session 3 • Describing the effect of thoughts and feelings on behavior
• Teaching the concept of logical and irrational thoughts and strengthening positive thoughts
• Empowering fathers to deal with irrational thoughts
• Exercising the relaxation techniques
• Homework assignment (exercising relaxation techniques as well as recording negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts)
Session 4 • Encouraging the expression of emotions by using open-ended questions, active listening, and reflecting on concerns
• Trying to explain and discuss the origins of fears about childbirth, clearing up misunderstandings by providing information, answering questions realistically, and identifying different ways to deal with prenatal stress and fear
• Exercising the relaxation techniques
• Homework assignment (exercising relaxation techniques and recording strategies to deal with stressful situations that might happen during pregnancy and childbirth)
Session 5 • Supporting fathers in discovering and defining their problems, setting a goal and, choosing solutions and solving problems
• Exercising the relaxation techniques
• Homework assignment (exercising relaxation techniques and problem-solving skills)
Session 6 • Teaching fathers how to calm and take care of themselves in order to deal with stressful situations that might happen during pregnancy and childbirth
• Introducing existing support networks (psychologists based in health-care centers) and referring fathers to a psychologist and psychiatrist if necessary
• Summarizing what have been learned and emphasizing on continuing to practicing the techniques and strategies discussed in the previous sessions
• Exercising the relaxation techniques