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Call for better parenting advice for new fathers

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 30-07-2008

Some dads feel unprepared for fatherhood because they are excluded from some of the services available to expectant mothers, according to new research.

The study, published in the BioMed Central journal of Pregnancy and Childbirth revealed that although men feel very involved with their partners’ pregnancy, they often only have health professionals and colleagues to turn to for advice.

Women, by contrast, generally felt well supported by female relatives and pre and post-natal groups.

The report also revealed that fathers-to-be saw the educational literature provided as primarily aimed at the mother.

What the parents surveyed had in common was that they would all like more information about the changes in their relationship with their partners, which they had previously been aware of.

"This study has indicated the need for an improvement in parents’ preparation for parenthood, the importance of including fathers in antenatal education and that inadequate preparation remains a concern to both women and their partners," the report’s authors concluded.

According to the Fatherhood Institute, many men find general antenatal classes unsatisfactory, but programs specifically aimed at fathers have been proved to be highly successful.