So now, yet another, organisation that wants to decide how the maternity services should be run, The Fatherhood Institute. Apparently we (midwives) don’t do enough to include the fathers in antenatal and postnatal care. We don’t ask questions if a father fails to show for the ante natal appointment and they feel that Fathers should be allowed to stay overnight with their partner and baby on postnatal wards. I’m sure that they are a lovely, caring organisation who are full of wonderful ideas but have they lost touch with reality, do they not read or listen to the media? At a time when the maternity services are struggling to cope with an increase in the birth rate, when units are closing and women are being turned away due to a shortage of beds we are expected to find somewhere for the partners to sleep, wash, pee and poo, I suppose we will have to feed them as well.
Why don’t the majority of fathers attend antenatal appointments? Could it be a question of finances I wonder? Pregnant women have a right to paid time off for all midwife/G.P/hospital appointments, and antenatal classes, their partners don’t.
I especially liked their accusation that “those (partners) that show no interest are not challenged” by us. Yep, I hold my hands up and admit to this, and the question I would ask is ‘what right have I got to challenge the way a couple manage their relationship/responsibilities?’ I can advise a partner, if I see him, that his baby’s mother needs support and help, but “challenge” him? Could be rather counter-productive and may result in me not being allowed back.
All a bit tree-hugging really.