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An Audience with the Midwife was an innovative event inviting dads and dads-to-be to chat informally with the Better Start Bradford Specialist Midwives.

The open forum event was held at St. Stephen’s Church Hall on 21 March 2018 and the thirteen attendees shared their experiences of the antenatal period including their child’s birth. Along with the opportunity to speak as a group to our midwives, there was also time for anyone who wished to meet them individually to discuss more personal issues.

From our midwives’ perspective, it was the first time they had experienced this type of ‘questions and answer’ format with dads and they felt it had been beneficial for themselves as well as the attendees. It also gave them the opportunity to ask the dads how they felt about their involvement in the antenatal period and what could be done differently. Responses included:

  • Professionals to interact with dads more
  • More support available for dads
  • Support groups
  • Antenatal classes for men
  • More 1-1 contact with families
  • Making dads feel they are just as important as the mother through the pregnancy
  • Considering the dad’s state of mind-before and after the birth
  • Better engagement with dads and dads-to-be
  • More projects involving dads and their children
  • Support for first time dads so they know what to expect and what pregnancy involves
  • More informal events such as breakfasts/lunches so not as daunting for some dads

With regards to the evening, the group reported that:

  • They strongly agreed that the event was really helpful
  • They strongly agreed that they would recommend the event to family and friends
  • They would like to see more events like this

One attendee said:

“An excellence experience which I will share with family and friends”.

Following the success of this first event, we plan to organise similar sessions in future. Please keep an eye on our events page for details. If you would like more information about this work, please contact Ian Thorpe: [email protected] / 07802 885338