A recent survey by Healthwatch Bucks has identified that dads want to be involved in the birthing experience.  The research mainly focused on dads in Bucks,  and normally the mums are vocal about their needs found the new dads were keen to give their feedback too, with most partners giving an overwhelmingly positive focus, they were also keen to express that they wanted, which was to be more involvement overall.

“You might not be giving birth but you are there and you are important” said one dad…

With this in mind, Healthwatch Bucks have recommended that timings of antenatal classes are reviewed to make them accessible, and that guidance and training to midwives on how to talk to and involve partners during birth should also be refreshed.

The report also draws attention to advice needed when dealing with a new-born. One father reported that he visited YouTube about ‘How to bathe a baby’ and wasn’t sure if advice given by midwives was professional or personal.

Healthwatch Bucks has asked that consideration be given to providing NHS approved ‘how to’ guides on basic elements of baby care, and that midwifes should clarify advice to avoid any element of doubt.

The report highlights:

Here’s the feedback from the men who took part in the report.

Before the Birth

  • Most men felt that there could have been more information for them
  • Generally, antenatal classes and tours were very well received
  • Attendance at classes generally was balanced in favour of those who were not of ethnic minority origin – meaning that group missed out on some key bits of information

During the Birth

  • Most midwives and staff were described very positively
  • Some dads liked to have a role during the birth process and wanted to have access to information that would tell them what was happening
  • Dads wanted to be listened to and talked to during the birth
  • Dads wanted to be clear on what was official advice and what was opinion

After the Birth

  • Dads left looking after a baby by themselves wanted support – practical and emotional
  • Most dads wanted to have access to “how to” guides dealing with practical issues (how to change a nappy) from a reliable source such as the NHS
  • Some dads felt they should have had more advance warning of how much work they would need to do after the birth

Healthwatch BucksYou can read the full report at www.healthwatchbucks.co.uk.