The Perinatal Dad – Engaging Fathers in the Perinatal Period to Support Breastfeeding

12 October 2021

The Perinatal Dad is a report by the Fatherhood Institute’s Head of Training, Jeszemma Howl, drawing on research she undertook – thanks to a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship – with the aim of exploring and examining the very best offer to families, that engages the father in the perinatal period and supports women to breastfeed for as they want to.

The report is designed to be a useful tool to help commissioners, managers, staff, researchers and policy makers who are invested in increasing the continuation of breastfeeding rates consider strengthening the effectiveness of the support and information given to both mothers and fathers at this golden yet vulnerable time. The report also highlights the need to engage fathers in the perinatal period, looking at the barriers and opportunities, reflecting families’ wishes and creating ‘Mother-focussed, Family-inclusive’ services. It includes the following elements:

  • The Report: Exploring and examining the evidence found during the Fellowship travels, including recommendations and key questions for the UK 
  • The Five Point Checklist, informed by this research, the survey of fathers (2019) and conversations with staff and mangers in health and family services, is designed to support and improve family well-being by helping services assess existing services, and create a mother-focused, family inclusive approach to breast feeding support. 
  • Tips for Fathers is a short, downloadable handout to use in breastfeeding support as a conversation starter with fathers. 
  • Survey Results from the 2019 online survey of 95 UK fathers 
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