Cambridgeshire

Peterborough all-male ante-natal classes start

A hospital in Peterborough is believed to be the first in the UK to offer ante-natal classes for men only.

The pilot NHS courses are being run by Dean Beaumont, a qualified ante-natal teacher, and are available through Peterborough City Hospital.

Mr Beaumont said the all-male classes looked at birth from a "different perspective", often using "male humour" to explain what to expect.

If successful, the men-only classes could be offered throughout the UK.

Courses take place at venues throughout the city in May, June and July.

'We're petrified'

"There are traditional ante-natal classes for couples, but what we do is look at it from a slightly different perspective," said Mr Beaumont.

"We can use male humour that perhaps wouldn't go down so well in a mixed setting.

"We discuss things that men often won't talk about in a couples class. For example, are we men really going to sit there in front of our partners, and other women, and state that we're petrified? Probably not," he said.

Mr Beaumont said the "DaddyNatal" classes were "informal, humorous and very laid-back".

Image caption Mr Beaumont said the ante-natal classes would free-up more time for midwives

Clare Carter, a matron and midwife at Peterborough City Hospital, said: "Men's roles have developed and they're very much more involved in family life today.

"They need to have an understanding of what women go through and how they can help and support their partners."

Mr Beaumont added that the courses would benefit not just expectant parents.

"Midwives are under more and more pressure," he said.

"If we have dads who are more prepared to support their partner, especially during labour, we can actually take some of that pressure off the midwife.

"By having a fully-involved partner there, midwives can release some of their time."

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