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. We – practitioners and researchers – are forming a global network to exchange knowledge and experience of “family inclusive” care.
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.
We are gradually building the world’s biggest collection of research, practice and news on family inclusive maternal and infant health care.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The most widely implemented family inclusive approach that we have found to date is World Vision’s Time and Targeted Counselling (ttC) for health and nutrition. The approach is now being implemented in 28 countries, and 7 of these countries have now adopted ttC as a national government-led approach. In ttC “Home Visitors”, typically community health […]
A new World Bank study has questioned the widespread assumption in development policy that cash payments to families to enhance child health should necessarily be targeted at mothers and not fathers. A two-year randomized control trial was carried out in rural Burkina Faso to estimate the impact of payments to families on education and health […]
A study in the rural Tandahimba district of Tanzania involving 523 women found that men play a critical role in ensuring birth preparation takes place and is paid for and in ensuring that mothers attend a birth facility. 68% of the women in the sample gave birth at a facility. 95% made at least some […]
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