Giving new life to the role of the father

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More fathers than ever before may attend the birth of their child, but the government is keen to involve them even more closely in pregnancy ...

... fathers-to-be will be the target audience of new leaflets and pamphlets, while the midwives' body has been asked to draw up new guidelines for its members on how to better draw fathers into the process of pregnancy and birth.

The Guide for New Dads, produced in conjunction with the Fatherhood Institute (FI), will provide information on a range of issues from paternity leave to breastfeeding.

"We know men want to be involved with a new baby, but so many chances to engage them are missed," says Adrienne Burgess, head of research at the FI. "The truth is if you want a mother to eat well during pregnancy, or quit smoking, you have to get the father involved at early stage because his behaviour will unquestionably influence hers.

And while fathers may say when it comes to breastfeeding - 'I'll support you in whatever you choose to do', mothers' perceptions about what the father really thinks about breastfeeding and the toll it may take on the body are one reason she may stop.

... "One issue this raises is whether men will in the end feel more confident ... - many studies attest to the way maternal anxiety has increased significantly under the weight of 'expert' advice about how to rear children," ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448