Fathers ‘should strip off to bond with baby’

Telegraph (UK) 4 June 07
Fathers should strip off their shirts before holding their newborn babies to aid the “bonding” process, says a booklet funded by the Government. The pamphlet also recommends that fathers should be taught how to bathe a baby before they leave hospital. The pamphlet, which has prompted accusations about interference from the nanny state, also recommends that they should gaze into their baby’s eyes for short periods to develop the child’s brain. It also suggests that fathers should be rewarded with gift vouchers if they attend antenatal classes.The booklet, Including New Fathers: A Guide for Maternity Professionals, has been published by Fathers Direct, a publicly funded charity that advises the Government on fatherhood. …Duncan Fisher, the chief executive of Fathers Direct, said that the guide was necessary because there was “compelling evidence that demonstrates the strong impact that fathers have on the health and well-being of mothers and babies, especially as fathers’ involvement increases during pregnancy, at birth and in baby care”. He added: “Appealing to the needs of the baby can be a powerful motivator for getting fathers to change negative behaviour.”