Dads left 'powerless' as Covid restrictions ban them from antenatal appointments

Research shows half of dads asked haven't been able to attend any antenatal appointments with their partner during the pandemic. Credit: PA

A father from Truro has set up an organisation to offer new dads more support and guidance since Covid rules mean many are unable to attend antenatal appointments.

Julian Bose and the team at DadPad now work with NHS trusts around the country to develop guides to help new fathers.

He said: "It's been very difficult for dads during lockdown and the pandemic since it started last March.

"We've had restricted appointments for fathers during the lockdown periods, antenatal appointments, scans, day of the birth even, dads have not been able to get in physically to be with their partners and that's left them feeling quite powerless, upset and unengaged."

ITV News has seen research which shows three out of four new dads admit to being worried about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Half of those asked have not been able to attend any antenatal appointments with their partner during the pandemic and only a third of of respondents said they have been given safer sleep information by a health professional.

Jenny Ward from the Lullaby Trust said: "Everybody who looks after a baby should know how to follow the safer sleep advice and the three key things are that a baby should be slept on their back for every sleep never on their side or their front.

"They should have a separate sleep space in the same room as you for at least the first six months like a cot or moses basket and that they are kept smoke free during pregnancy and after the baby is born."

Lee Houghton from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire helps run the local division of Dad Matters, an organisation which offers advice to new fathers.

The group has been running online sessions during the pandemic - so they can keep on offering advice and teaching essential skills.

Lee said: "It's tremendously hard. It's something that's been historically difficult, engaging dads, working with healthcare professionals such as the midwifery team and the health visiting team.

"I think the pandemic has added another layer and dads are coming to us saying they're feeling very isolated so part of what we do at Dad Matters is to try and engage them."

Read more: