Dads would like more paternity leave, financial support, access to GPs and mental healthcare, according to the Born in Wales project led by researchers at the National Centre for Population Health & Wellbeing Research.
The Survey, which aims to improve understanding of how to best support families in Wales, asked expectant and new dads various questions on their health and well-being. Other questions focused on family life, employment status, and support received as a new parent.
What dads want
Some of the key results from surveying expectant and new dads included:
- Greater paternity leave and rights for partners
- Improved connection between antenatal/maternity services and GPs
- More financial support for first-time parents to help them ensure the baby gets everything they need and offer support for planning ahead
- Support with free childcare to help parents get back to work, not just 3 – 4 year olds
- Better living wage
- Easier access to GP
- Establishing a separate system for Mental Healthcare. Mental healthcare isn’t effective when it’s managed like physical healthcare and needs prioritising.
What is Born in Wales?
This study aims to develop the evidence base to understand the current influences on family health and well-being and how these affect subsequent childhood health and education.
Why is this research important?
This research enables a better understanding of the issues facing families growing up in Wales to identify the most critical issues needing addressing. Gaining this understanding means that this research can inform policy and practice to better direct support to improve the lives of families growing up in Wales with long-term effects on future outcomes.
Hope Jones, a Researcher at the National Centre for Population Health & Wellbeing, said: “Paternal health is often overlooked when exploring experiences of pregnancy and starting parenthood. We believe it is important to hear about expectant and new dads’ experiences of their partner’s pregnancy and becoming new parents.
I would encourage any expectant or new dads to participate in our surveys and share their experiences, furthering our understanding of what affects the health and well-being of families from a dad’s point of view.”
Prof Sinead Brophy, Director at the National Centre for Population Health & Wellbeing, added: “A child’s development is influenced by the father’s mental and physical well-being, which is why dads matter. The ‘Born in Wales’ study wants to understand what is needed to support the health and well-being of fathers.”
How do dads take part in the survey?
The National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research is funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales.