A global issue

The World Health Organisation has declared that engaging fathers and families in maternal and infant health is a high priority. It saves lives. Each year over 300,000 mothers die during pregnancy and childbrith and 2.7 million babies die within a month of being born; most of these deaths are preventable.

  1. research


    We monitor and report on research evidence so you won't miss important advances in understanding.
  2. practice


    We collect and report on stories from members.
  3. policy


    We are developing a partnership around a Family Inclusion Toolkit for maternal health services. Read more here.
  4. peer support

    Peer support

    We are building social networking tools so that any member can easily contact another.

Family Included Charter

Family inclusive maternal healthcare is when fathers and other family members are actively engaged by healthcare workers in a partnership of care for a woman during her pregnancy, during labour and childbirth and in the care of the newborn.

Read the Charter in more detail.

  1. Communicate to women that partners and other family members are welcome.
  2. Use all opportunities to welcome family members and ensure that they are considered partners in the care of the pregnant woman.
  3. Communicate directly with family members.
  4. Respect the woman and her family.
  5. Encourage birth companions.
  6. Encourage bonding between father and baby from the earliest moments.
  7. Support the family in early care for mother and baby.
  8. Organise social support for families where problems are revealed.
  9. Embed family inclusiveness through education, training, policies and management.

Research, Case Studies, News

We are gradually building the world’s biggest collection of research, practice and news on family inclusive maternal and infant health care.

  1. breastfeeding

    Irish study recommends practical information on breastfeeding for fathers

    A study in Ireland has asked fathers about their views on breastfeeding. 417 fathers of babies aged 4 to 7 months were asked to complete a questionnaire. They were mostly employed (96%), college educated (77%) and married (88%). 75% of the men said they were involved in the breastfeeding decision. Of these, 73% encouraged it, […]

  2. fathers support breastfeeding

    Some kinds of support by fathers for breastfeeding may be counter-productive (Canada)

    A new study has looked at what kind of support by fathers for breastfeeding works best in relation to extending its duration. Earlier research has shown that mothers breastfeed longer when the fathers strongly believe in breastfeeding, but in this study, the researchers unexpectedly found that some kinds of support by fathers correlate with a […]

  3. attitudes

    Changing attitudes towards pregnancy and birth by Rwandan fathers and their challenge to maternal health services

    A study in Kigali Rwanda interviewed 32 men about their attitudes to childbearing and their encounter with maternal health services. It revealed a tension between more progressive gender attitudes on the part of the men and the lack of response of maternal health services. The researchers regard this as a lost opportunity to promote gender […]

  4. father-infant skin-to-skin

    Father-infant skin-to-skin benefits babies, fathers and mothers (international literature review)

    A literature review on father-infant skin-to-skin contact (SSC) found that it has positive impacts on babies, on fathers and on family relationships. The review, led by Dr Shefaly Shorey at the National University of Singapore, covered 12 studies including two quantitative ones. 10 of the studies were in developed countries, one in India and one […]

  5. paternal depression china

    High levels of paternal depression found in northwestern China

    A study of 180 couples in Xi’an city in northwestern China has found high levels of depressive symptoms among fathers: 21% 3 days after the birth, 20% after two weeks and 14% after six weeks. Both parents were interviewed three times (3 days, 2 weeks, 6 weeks after the birth) and asked to complete surveys […]

  6. migrant women and perinatal illness

    Lack of social support is a major driver of perinatal illness in migrant women

    A systematic review of 40 articles found that migrant women from low and middle income countries have higher levels of perinatal mental illness than non-migrant women. Across 17 quantitative studies, the prevalence of any depressive disorder was 31% and the prevalence of major depressive disorders was 17%. Migration is already a hallmark of the 21st […]


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  1. join us

Our First Members

Yvonne Meyer
Swiss Federation of Midwives
Miss Judith Yargawa
PhD Researcher, University College London
Tina Miller
Professor of Sociology, Oxford Brookes University
Dr Dr Shuby Puthussery
Senior Lecturer in Public Health, University of Bedfordshire
Richard Mottershead
Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, University of Chester
Dr Paul Ramchandani
Imperial College London
Associate Professor Rachael Vernon
Associate Head of School Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia
Professor Mary Steen
Professor of Midwifery, University of South Australia
Dr Nigel Sherriff
Principal Research Fellow,
University of Brighton
Dr Natalie Parletta
Senior Research Fellow, APD, University of South Australia
Associate Professor Naomi Yokote
Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Life and Health, Chubu University
Meseret Haileyesus
Midwife & public health expert, University of Alberta
Professor Mary Nolan
Professor of Perinatal Education, University of Worcester
Martin Desborough
Head of Operations & Digital, / Family Matters Institute
Malele Ngalu
Director Marketing, Totohealth
Peter (Kevin) O'Shaughnessy
Lecturer, University of South Australia
Professor Jennifer Bellamy
University of Denver
Dr Inge Tency
Lecturer, researcher, international coordinator, Department of Midwifery, Odisee University College
Gill Walton
Director of Midwifery, Portsmouth Hospital Trust
Gary Barnes
Vice President Healthcare and Life Sciences, Oracle
Fiona Crawford-Williams
PhD student, University of South Australia
Dr Faith Diorgu
Midwife lecturer, University of Port Harcourt
Liz Newnham
Midwifery Lecturer, University of South Australia
Duncan Fisher
Co-Founder, Family Included Global Alliance
Diego Garcia-Huidobro
Graduate Student, University of Minnesota
Denis Walsh
Midwifery Academic, Nottingham University
Debrah Lewis
Executive Director, Mamatoto Resource & Birth Centre
Trinidad & Tobago
Phil & Carolyn Cowan
Professors of Psychology, Emeriti, University of Caifornia, Berkeley
Associate Professor Mary Bi Suh Atanga
Head of Department, Nursing and Midwifery, University of Bamenda
Beatrix Exeter
Bay Midwives, Hawke's Bay
New Zealand
Dr Anna Machin
Doctor of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford
Adrienne Burgess
Joint CEO, Fatherhood Institute
Adriana Francisco
Nurse Midwife (SPU), School of Nursing, University of Sao Paulo

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