Including New Fathers: A Guide for Maternity Professionals

8 June 2007

Including New FathersINCLUDING NEW FATHERS: a guide for maternity professionals is designed to help maternity professionals develop a more responsive approach to fathers – and, through this, to the whole family.

Fifty years ago few fathers in Britain witnessed their baby’s birth. Now 86% of all dads attend: 95% of those who live with their baby’s mother; and 45% of those who don’t. No health or family service other than maternity achieves remotely this level of connection with men in their role as carers of children.

What’s more, engaging with fathers can help health professionals meet key targets around smoking, breastfeeding and mental health. A compelling body of evidence demonstrates the interdependence of mothers’ and fathers’ behaviour in these and other areas; and the necessity of addressing the father’s beliefs and behaviour if the mother is to succeed in making healthy choices.

We based this document on an extensive review of international evidence. INCLUDING NEW FATHERS: a guide for maternity professionals is a compelling document which brings together the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of working with fathers, in families making the transition to parenthood.


“Having a baby marks not just the creation of an individual life, but the birth of a family. The RCM believes that maternity care should reach out to and include all members of that family. Midwives should make fathers feel welcome and involved. They should include them in parenting education, offer them the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the changes they are facing, and support them to support their partner and infant.” Royal College of Midwives policy statement.

“Involvement of prospective and new fathers in a child’s life is extremely important for maximising the life-long well-being and outcomes of the child (regardless of whether the father is resident or not). Pregnancy and birth are the first major opportunities to engage fathers in appropriate care and upbringing of children.” National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services 11, 5.6


INCLUDING NEW FATHERS: a guide for maternity professionals can be purchased in hard copy via or 0845 634 1328 and is also available in our website shop, price £4.95 plus postage and packing.

It is also available as FREE DOWNLOAD. If you would like a copy in PDF format (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it – just Google it), right click the link under RELATED DOCUMENTS below and select "Save Target As…"

Including New Fathers: A Guide for Maternity Professionals

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