Midwives to hold dads-only antenatal classes at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital

Antenatal classes just for dads are being set up to ensure men are ready for the arrival of their new babies.

The HEY Baby team at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital is launching the special dads-only antenatal class at its Carousel event this month.

Midwife Melanie Lee, who is part of the HEY Baby team, said: “We want to show dads they have a crucial role to play right the way through their partners’ pregnancy, during labour and birth and right from the start of their baby’s life.

“In the past, men were resigned to waiting in corridors for their babies to be born and the hands-on practical tasks of bringing up a baby were mainly left to women.

“Thankfully, times have changed and men now play a much bigger part in their child’s life. These classes are all about equipping them with the skills and confidence they will need, especially in those first few weeks.”

The HEY Baby team will hold its first dads-only antenatal class at its Carousel event at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, September 26, between 6pm and 8pm.

Men wishing to attend the event should email heybaby@hey.nhs.uk to confirm their place.

Birth educators will talk them through their roles throughout their partners’ pregnancy, how they can ensure the best start in life for their baby by adopting healthy lifestyles with their partners such as taking up exercise, giving up smoking and eating more healthy foods.

They will be shown techniques for staying calm during labour, with midwives explaining what is likely to happen at each stage leading to the birth of their baby.

They will also be given practical demonstrations of changing a nappy, how to help their baby to sleep safely and what they can do to support their partners in those first few days and weeks.

Infant feeding co-ordinators will also explain how a man can assist the baby’s mother, even if she is breast-feeding, by getting her everything she needs to feed their baby.

Melanie Lee said: “It’s about giving the man confidence to care for their baby as soon as they are born, from that very first minute.

“We will talk to them about any anxiety they feel in the run-up to the birth in a safe environment where they will be with other men who are likely to be feeling the same emotions.

“We’re here to help the fathers as well as the mothers as bringing up a baby is a joint effort.”