NCT response to research on incidences of post-traumatic stress disorder in dads

Released on: 15 April 2013

The press are today citing Oxford University research suggesting that some fathers are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after they have experienced their partners having difficult births.

NCT’s Chief Executive Belinda Phipps said: 

“NCT has campaigned for dads to have the choice to be with their partners at their babies’ birth. Of course they don’t have to be there – but it’s important that that they and their partners discuss this and decide what’s the best approach for them. 

“If fathers do decide to be present at the birth, they need to be prepared for it. What children learn about childbirth when growing up is inadequate at school and often misleading from the media so that it’s not surprising some men are shocked. Attending NCT classes with their partners can help dads be well informed ahead of the due date.  

“There is of course no need for birth to be shocking if parents are kept informed and well supported. But where parents are not prepared – either when not supported or as a result of today’s much increased medical intervention - there may be some trauma. Having a midwife you already know and trust is important - the NHS needs to ensure a familiar face is available to mother and father, and organise itself in a way that gives midwives time to care.”