Background: There has been a significant cultural shift in attitudes towards male partners' involvement in maternity care, resulting in a cultural acceptance that male partners should be involved throughout pregnancy and birth. Anecdotal evidence, however, shows that male partners may still experience negative attitudes from obstetric and midwifery professionals.
Aim: To explore midwifery students' experiences of negative attitudes or behaviour directed toward male partners by women, midwives, and/or doctors during antenatal and intrapartum care.
Methods: An open online anonymous survey was used to collect data from 21 midwifery students.
Findings: Two main themes were revealed: observed negative behaviours, and behaviour reasoning. Each theme contained several sub-themes, namely aggression, exclusion, and condescension (observed negative behaviours), and excusable by pain, preoccupied, misplaced support and respectful inclusion (behaviour reasoning).
Conclusions: The accommodation of male partners into maternity settings does not always meet their needs, and is at time disempowering through negative attitudes and behaviours.