Fathers To Be

Articles and Research 












How important are fathers in families?

It is our desire to provide evidence based research, as well as additional information of value, to support your understanding and practice of parenting, birth and family care. As an entre regarding the importance of fathers to their children and in the family, the following is most relevant.

Here are some facts that may surprise you. They are from several US government sources. You may be tempted to think - "This may be the case in America, but people in my country are different." That may be true, but stop for a second to think about what this really means.

According to leading official USA government sources,
children from a fatherless home are


                                                 5 times more likely to commit suicide

                                               32 times more likely to run away

                                               20 times more likely to have behavioural disorders

                                               14 times more likely to commit rape

                                                 9 times more likely to drop out of school

                                               10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances

                                                 9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution

                                               20 times more likely to end up in prison

A better world starts at home... let's get fathers connected to their hearts and to their families!

These statistics come from a collection of agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Disease Control, the National Principals Association. Source: CTI www.thecoaches.com


Within or without: Considering men's needs in the time of fatherhood

by Elmer Postle

co-founder Fathers-To-Be


How do we consider the needs of men who are becoming fathers? It’s a question women ask of men who are interested in pregnancy and birth and it’s a question that can get reduced to a joke or bypassed by men themselves. What are the steps we need to take to begin to consider it seriously?

(full article)


This article was published in: THE PRACTISING MIDWIFE pages 17-18, Vol 12, Dec. 2009, Houser, “Welcoming Young Fathers” Copyright Elsevier 2009

Welcoming Young Fathers

Most men, at some point in their life, hear a phrase similar to,

"Dear, I have something to tell you … I’m pregnant." In the majority of

cases this proclamation catches them by surprise. How a man reacts to a pregnancy

is frequently determined by his maturity and age and if he feels settled and secure in his

life, career and relationship. If a teenage boy hears that particular expression, none of

the aforementioned is likely to apply.


"The care provided by the father can be a significant factor for a mother’s successful

pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding."


 "Parental support and bonding during the ‘primary time’ – from conception through

the baby’s first year – is key to the health and longevity of not just the family unit but also

the individual relationship between each parent and the child."

(full article)


Duncan Fisher, OBE (for service to children)

 Should men be at the birth of their babies?

On Friday, 26 November, at the invitation of the Royal College of Midwives, I debated with the famous French obstetrician, Michel Odent, “should men be at the birth of babies?”  The debate was discussed in the national papers, on the BBC TV news (twice), on radio stations (four times on Radio 5 Live), in the Australian media and yesterday in Time magazine in USA.  Two men debating childbirth in front of 400 midwives.  One man long enough in his profession to have delivered the other! (link to entire article above)


Doula of the Year Awards

(Speech by Patrick Houser at the awards ceremony presentation by Ricki Lake

We are here today to honour women, women who serve humanity. A 1995 film called First Knight characterizes the Arthurian legend of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. In this version the fabled, circular table has an inscription carved into it. It reads, “In serving each other we become free”. So, as I see it, we are here to celebrate freedom; freedom to support and to be supported when the very foundations of the family are being laid. The primary role of a doula is to be of service to parents, and by proxy babies, during the most impactful period in the individuals’ and the family’s life. (entire speech link above)


ARM Conference

(Association of Radical Midwives)

speech by Patrick Houser


Each of us spent 9 month inside the body of a woman. We were influenced by her emotional, hormonal and physical environment. We then shared our birth with her and had a collective as well as an individual experience of it and our first months of life outside the womb. All of this we recorded in our mind, body and emotions. In part this is the context of Ashley Montague’s statement from his ground breaking book, The Natural Superiority of Women” and midwives play an important role in this manifestation.

 (entire speech link above)


One Baby Two Parents

A Campaign for Everyone

While no one was looking the very foundations of our society, our culture and our families have undergone a metamorphosis. Until several decades ago the activities surrounding pregnancy, birth and early infancy were left almost entirely to a mother and/or her healthcare providers.......(link above)


Inviting Fathers


The Tender Beginnings

of Attachment in Men

by Marcy Axness, Ph.D.

with Trina Straus



A mother's attachment to her baby often begins long before birth.  By the last trimester many mothers feel like they know their babies, having been enjoying for months their familiar, reassuring movements in the womb.

But what about fathers?  What are their experiences during those wondrous nine months?  How does the attachment process begin for them?  Is a father's only option to look on with wonder (and sometimes envy) at the beautiful relationship forming between his once-doting partner and this tiny interloper?  Is it the extent of his calling to act as back-rubber, chauffeur and coach?  Do these "staff support" roles reflect the monumental potential influence fathers have in their family's life? (full article...)


The Science of ‘Father Love’

by Patrick M. Houser

Long gone are the days when a father paced back and forth in a smoky hospital waiting room while his wife gave birth elsewhere, in a room full of strangers. This was the archetype during the mid-twentieth century. Fathers are now more in alliance with the creative process of pregnancy and birth, and therefore, mothers and babies. They have also taken up the mantle of being nurturers over the last several decades and have increased their participation in the family. This trend is producing astonishing results; ones which are also based in science. .... (link above)

Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home

by Patrick M. Houser

Does reading that title give you the creeps, a knot in your gut and

a shot of adrenalin or does it generate joyful anticipation?

It was a crisp summer’s morning on the farm. There was dew on the meadow, a blackbird

boisterously announcing the dawn from the fallen willow tree and the promise of great

adventure for the day. When I was a child summer holidays were a full three months long and

made space for many cumulative and memorable escapades. UNTIL...

Breast is best...for Dads too

by Patrick Houser

Throughout our history mothers breastfeeding their babies has run the spectrum from feast to famine. Very long ago nearly every mother breastfed; nature obviously had a good plan. During less distant times mothers breastfeeding became unfashionable and 'proper society' did not even consider it. Many only breastfed if they could not afford a wet nurse. Mothers today often approach breastfeeding with ambiguity and fathers are having an influence on the process. (download article here)

(written for La Leche League International Magazine, New Beginnings , August 2009)

 What about Men at Birth?  

by Elmer Postle

An article which provides an overview of the cultural, social and educational perspectives

of father's presence at the birth of their children. (link above)

Crisis in NHS Maternity Care Resolved

London, Circa 2012

by Patrick M. Houser

The BBC reported today an end to the crisis in NHS maternity units across the nation. In an interview yesterday the Health Secretary stated, “We are pleased to announce that the beneficial effects of educational programmes, initially established 5 years ago, are having almost universally favourable effects on families and our healthcare system”........(link above)

Fathers Do Make a World of Difference

But, what about at birth?

 by Patrick M. Houser

What about fathers at birth? There is really no discussion to be had about whether or not fathers ‘should’ be in the room for the birth of their children. This debate was held years ago, practice shifted and parents now make their own choices in this regard. Today approximately 90% of fathers are with their partners during the birth of their children......(link above)


Fathers' Day 2009

Mothers' Day 2009

Autumn 2008

Summer 2008

Spring 2008


Men who respond to impending fatherhood by examining

their own childhood produce happier children

By Alexandra Frean, social affairs correspondent of The Times, December 2003


The way men respond to the news that they are to become a father for the first time can have a profound effect on the mental well-being of their children, new research has found. (link above)

Women who opt for caesarean aren't too posh to push - just SCARED

by Fiona Macrae -  6th February 2008 Daily Mail

Almost half the women who choose to have a caesarean delivery are not "too posh to push" - they are simply too scared, researchers say. What does this tell us about how we are educating and supporting our families.(link above)

What the gender equality duty means for maternity services...and fathers

The new Gender Equality Duty (Equality Act 2006), effective from April 2007, requires all public authorities, including those commissioning maternity services, to have “due regard” to the need to “promote” equality of opportunity between men and women.

“Promoting” means being active and not passive: the statutory equality body and inspectorates will look for action and positive change as evidence of compliance. “Having due regard” means prioritising attention in proportion to its relevance – see the box below for how gender equality applies to maternity services.
(link above)

Going it alone

(AKA free or unassisted birth)

Wednesday May 9, 2007 The Guardian


Viv Groskop reports on the growing trend for freebirth. Why would anyone choose to give birth without a doctor, midwife or even her partner in attendance?

To me, giving birth is as personal as having sex," says Sarah, 24, from Essex. "You don't want someone else sitting there watching you." Sarah chose to "freebirth" her first child, now two, at home. Freebirthing involves giving birth alone, without a midwife and often even a partner or friend in attendance - Sarah delivered while her husband was in the next room. "I didn't have any experience of pain," she says, "there was just this really strong sensation that muscles were working. Then the baby's head appeared." (link above)                                                 

How to have a sensual, drug-free birth

The Independent - 20 March 2007

Forget epidurals. Midwives say they can train women to have births that are not only drug-free, but pleasurable - and even orgasmic. Anastasia Stephens reports.


For Katrina Caslake, giving birth was not the terrifying, painful ordeal most women experience. Far from it. The midwife, from Wallington, south London, says she found it blissful, even orgasmic. "I found giving birth very sensual," says Caslake, 44, who didn't take painkillers for the birth of either of her sons, Aaron and Tomas, now 18 and 17.

"All my erogenous zones were stimulated. I was making sounds very similar to a sexual climax. And it was a very definite climax. I was doing the most feminine thing a woman can do and it felt fantastic."(link above)

What Good Are Dads?

The key points from the research published by Fathers Direct, NFPI,

Working with Men and Newpin Fathers Support Centre on June 13 2001.


Expectant fathers can suffer from pregnancy symptoms, UK research shows.

Experiences of the First Year as Father

Research from Sweden

A view from inside the family - Becoming a father(link above).

Circumcision...be informed

NOCIRC is the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers, an organization of

diverse individuals committed through research, education, and advocacy to securing the birthright of

male, female, and intersex infants and children to keep their sex organs intact. www.nocirc.org

Website also has a very important and informative video. Info Pamphlet download here




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