National information centre for fathers
Fathers Direct - 020 7920 9491.
In October 2000, a NCT/Fathers Direct survey of 871 new fathers showed:
•One-third would like to be more involved in their partner's pregnancy care;
•One-third said the timing of antenatal appointments was inconvenient;
•About one in 10 men suggested that they didn't know whether they were welcome at appointments;
•One-third of men felt that during appointments, health professionals talked only to their pregnant partner;
•Ninety-six per cent of the men questioned had attended the birth of their child;
•Over a half had no paid paternity leave after the birth;
•Two-fifths said that work commitments reduced their involvement in family life.
The survey also showed that more than two-fifths of the men wanted more information on:
•Maternity care choices;
•What to expect with (and reasons for) an instrumental delivery or a Caesarean;
•Ways that women could help themselves during labour;
•Money and benefits;
•How to cope with a lack of sleep and the baby's crying and sleep pattern;
•How to cope with the baby along with other children;
•The baby's effect on the couple's relationship;
•Combining breastfeeding with bottle-feeding and when to start solid food;
•How to tell if the baby is sick.
The NCT would like to see more attention given to fathers' information and support needs, with paid time off work for antenatal appointments and paid parental leave.
NCT antenatal classes are a good place to meet other parents-to-be, to help yourself and your partner through pregnancy and find out more about what the birth of your baby may bring. To find out about classes in your area.
The National Childbirth Trust is a charity that aims to ensure that everyone has a positive experience of birth and early parenthood. While you do not have to be a member to register for classes or enjoy our social events, your membership fee helps to support our countrywide network of experts.