Antenatal Care

Health written question – answered on 29th February 2012.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) parents who attend (i) part and (ii) all of the ante-natal and post-natal classes available to them and (b) ante-natal and post-natal classes attended by (A) one parent and (B) both parents.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

This information is not collected centrally.

There are many different ways of providing antenatal education from one to one discussions to workshop style groups. A Care Quality Commission survey of women's experiences of maternity services in England in 2010 found that 58% of women had attended national health service antenatal classes during their pregnancy.

Delivered with care: a smaller survey of women's experiences of maternity care published by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in 2010 reported 40.2% of women had attended NHS antenatal classes or workshops. 67% of women who were offered and attended NHS antenatal classes said their partner was welcome to attend with them.

The Department launched ‘Preparation for Birth and Beyond: a resource pack for leaders of community groups and activities’ in October 2011. The pack is a practical tool, which aims to improve outcomes for babies and parents through a refreshed approach to antenatal education.

The Department funded ‘Reaching out: Involving Fathers in Maternity Care and Top Tips: Involving Fathers in Maternity Care’, published by the Royal College of Mid wives in November 2011. The Guide provides top tips and useful insight into how all maternity service staff might best encourage fathers' involvement throughout pregnancy and childbirth, and into fatherhood and family life.

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