Being A Good Dad Starts Before The Birth

Beverley Turner finds Chiswick fathers-to-be are keen to get involved


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Beverley Turner thought that pregnant women needed to empower themselves through ante-natal classes with a difference but she didn't reckon on the effect it would have on fathers-to-be.

The 'dads' are finding the laid-back atmosphere at family members' club Maggie & Rose in Chiswick so relaxing they just keep turning up to the Blooming Bunch ante-natal classes.

Beverley pictured with husband James

Journalist and mother-of-three Bev, who is married to Olympian James Cracknell said: "I had intended to have dads-to-be at 50% of the sessions, but after attending one they kept asking to come back.

"We even had one dad come back to the Natal Hypnotherapy session WITHOUT his partner as he enjoyed it so much!"

So now the men are invited to every one of the 8 sessions on the first-time parents course, such is the interest.

Bev believes the cosy atmosphere, (they provide alcohol and snacks to help the men relax), is part of the draw and she says the lads are not afraid to ask even the most bizarre questions.

Couples feed back to the group that having dad involved at the ante-natal stage means that they are immensely helpful during the birth and also, after the baby arrives, says Bev.

"Most ante-natal sessions don't invite dads to the breastfeeding classes, but if it's 2am and you're weeping in agony with a screaming baby, it's probably your partner who will be there to help."

The couples have also enjoyed being able to confess their fears in a light-hearted and trusting environment. More parents-to-be should be having those tricky conversations about who is going to do what before baby arrives, she says.

Beverley, who says her hubby Olympic medallist James was a tower of strength during her own labours, has assembled a team of experts, ranging from a nutritionist, psychotherapist, personal trainer and natal hypnotherapist to help out. There are two midwives on hand to give advice.

"As a mum of three with a busy husband I've learnt all about how to clearly and diplomatically get dad involved", says Bev, who is involved with charities relating to family planning and health.

Hubby James Cracknell has also recently joined a campaign to help dads choose a better work-life balance so that they don't miss out on spending time with young children.

September 24, 2014