Allow fathers to attend baby scans & midwife appointments.

Allow fathers to attend baby scans & midwife appointments.

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Paul Lloyd started this petition to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) and

Go to the pub or gym, jump on a bus or train but be  excluded from your unborn babies development.

“The general rule that women connect with the pregnancy sooner than men has an exception: men who get involved early on and stay involved until the end have been shown to be as connected with the baby as their partners. And a surefire way to get involved is to go to as many of your partner’s OB/GYN appointments as possible.” -The Expectant Father ( Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-To-Be), 3rd Edition by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash

My wife & I are expecting a baby in January 2021. We are extremely excited and naturally also nervous. This pregnancy is high risk due to previous heartbreaking complications. This will be our last pregnancy and my first and only biological child. With any pregnancy there comes many questions, worries and things to prepare for.  Many of the worries and preparations are both enhanced and hindered by the COVID19 pandemic. Expectant parents are experiencing something that no one would have been able to prepare them for. This should be a time of joy and excitement. Currently most NHS hospitals across the country have restricted patients to attend their medical appointments alone with no one form their immediate or extended support network.  This includes all prenatal care visits.  When My wife attends prenatal visits, she is not allowed to take anyone with her, including me - the father of her baby. She is not afforded the right to support from me.  This means that we miss out on experiencing together hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, seeing our baby move for the first time, being reassured together that everything is as it should be. I am not able to hear first-hand information about our pregnancy and do not get the opportunity to ask questions.  I will not have the opportunity to get to know the medical staff providing care for my wife and our baby or give my input on preferences of care choices. Naturally, mothers will feel a close bond to their child during pregnancy, as a father these prenatal experiences help that bonding relationship.  Yet I, and so many others, am not allowed the opportunity to feel as involved and connected to the pregnancy.  Separating fathers/partners from the pregnancy can hinder the reality of what they are preparing for and potentially prevent bonding with their child.  If something unfortunate were to happen, my wife would have to experience this news alone, without my support.  I would, I have been told, be allowed in, in circumstances of bad news in order to comfort her.  Consequently I wait during the appointment willing my name not to be called. She is not permitted to record video or audio of the appointments, use video chat, or make a phone call to include me in the visits or have theSonographer even write down the sex of the baby so we can share the experience of finding out together at home.

“Many fathers to be feel like they’re on the outside looking in, and that’s not surprising…You know you’re about to become a father, but you don’t have much to show for it now. Not to worry.  Just because the pregnancy’s not taking place in your body doesn’t mean you can’t share it.” – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition,  by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

“But also remember, the best way to keep from feeling left out is to step up to the plate and get involved…Be a prenatal regular. Whenever you can (and if you’re not already), join her at her practitioner checkups. She’ll appreciate the moral support, but you’ll appreciate the chance to hear the practitioner’s instructions for yourself…you’ll get to ask all those questions you have…Best of all, you’ll get to experience those momentous milestones with her (hearing the heartbeat, seeing those tiny limbs on the ultrasound).  – What To Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition,  by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

It is our responsibility to expectant families to ensure that we do everything we can to allow all fathers/partners tofeel a bond and sense of responsibility to their partners and their children. Removing a parent’s ability to attend prenatal visits for their unborn child, and to support their partner is a violation of their human rights .  Pregnancy can be a worrying time for both parents.  It is well known that pregnancy can be a psychologically vulnerable time for women.  It can trigger mental health issues in the healthiest of women.  Some women do not have straight forward pregnancies, they may have pregnancy complications, be a teenage mum, be the victim of rape, they may be vulnerable to substance abuse.  Mothers and fathers should be allowed the right to support each other at this time, to encourage the most positive experience and outcome for themselves and their unborn child.  We are asking that you please sign this petition to change medical guidance to allow fathers and support partners to attend prenatal visits under the same regulations and with the same precautions that expectant women are afforded.

This petition will be submitted to Matt Hancock & Boris Johnson for their consideration.

Kind regards,

 

Paul Lloyd

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