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Nine Out of Ten Dads Attend The Birth

Nine Out of Ten Dads Attend The Birth
A recent survey has revealed that almost nine out of 10 fathers-to-be are present when their child is born - and attendance at scan appointments is almost as high.

The study of 5,300 new Mums by Oxford University also found that most were happy with their care during pregnancy and the birth. Surprisingly though, only two-thirds had been offered antenatal classes.

The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) said some of the survey findings were further evidence of a shortage of midwives in England. Funded by the Department of Health, the study questioned women who gave birth during a two-week period in late 2009. Although similar surveys were carried out in 1995 and 2006, it is the first time that questions have been asked about the role of the father during pregnancy and birth.

In addition to confirming that the vast majority of men choose to attend the birth, the study also found that two out of five male partners directly sought out information about pregnancy and birth, and 61% accompanied their partner at antenatal checks.

In total, 89% of women reported that their partner came to the birth, and 88% said they came to one or more ultrasound scans.

Most Dads were involved in looking after their new baby, with 65% changing nappies or bathing, and four out of five playing with the baby.

Over 70% were able to take some paternity leave, usually about four weeks.

Dr Maggie Redshaw, who led the research, said: "Dads are often delighted, even bowled over to see their babies for the first time on ultrasound scans - the positive effect of this shouldn't be underestimated."

19 Nov 2010

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