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Dads to learn maternity care

Tuesday November 15th, 2011

British dads are set to be told more about how they can care for the mothers of their children after birth, it was announced today.

Midwives and hospitals are to be encouraged to tell fathers about issues such as post-natal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a new guide.

Surveys of mothers find they often feel that the fathers of their children have received little support, according to the guide's authors.

And some men can be left seriously traumatised by the experience of birth, it says.

The guide has been produced jointly by the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Department of Health and the Fatherhood Institute.

It is being launched at the RCM's conference in Brighton, UK.

It urges local hospitals to make arrangements to ensure men are involved in antenatal care - such as arranging sessions to avoid football fixtures.

RCM general secretary Cathy Warwick said: "There is now substantial evidence of the benefits resulting from fathers being involved in their partner’s maternity care. 

"Most women want their partners to be involved in their pregnancy. NHS policy is to increase engagement with fathers and encourage them to be involved in their partner’s maternity care in order to foster positive parenting and family relationships."

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Becoming a parent is hugely exciting but it can be a challenging time.  Fathers want to feel involved throughout their partner’s pregnancy and this guide is a step to making that happen.

"We’ve worked closely with the RCM on this to make sure midwives recognise their unique role so fathers feel welcomed and supported during this special time in their lives."

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Menís Health | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology

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