A Qualitative Multiple Case Study of the Division of Labor across the Transition to Parenthood in South-Brazilian Families. By: Schmidt, Beatriz; Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah J.; Frizzo, Giana B.; Piccinini, Cesar A. Sex Roles. Sep2019, Vol. 81 Issue 5/6, p272-289. 18p. 1 Chart.

Family roles tend to become more traditional across the transition to parenthood, which may affect satisfaction with the division of labor and the well-being and relationships of new parents. We employed a qualitative, longitudinal, multiple case study to investigate the division of labor across the transition to parenthood in South-Brazilian families with different childcare arrangements (i.e., maternal care, nanny care, and daycare center). Data were collected through semi-structured, face-to-face interviews conducted with 12 first-time mothers and fathers (six families) at 6, 12, and 18 months postpartum. Using deductive thematic analysis, we found greater sharing of childcare tasks during the first few days postpartum, followed by a decrease in fathers’ contributions across the first few months. This more unequal division of labor shifted toward greater subsequent father involvement for families with nanny care and daycare arrangements, although it remained stable for families with maternal care arrangement. Parental satisfaction regarding the division of labor remained relatively high over time only for families with nanny care arrangements. Findings are discussed in the light of the roles that instrumental and social support, as well as Brazilian gender norms, play in the division of labor for new parents. Implications for practice and policy are presented.