#InThisWithYou – Tommy’s answers call to support dads and partners
Our Dads and Partners Hub follows the model of our midwife-led PregnancyHub, which is visited by some 2 million people around the world each month seeking out trustworthy research-backed advice before, during and after their pregnancy.
In 2020 our research found that two thirds of dads and partners who had experienced baby loss say they need help to open up in order to prevent feeling alone, and 38% of men who became dads after a healthy pregnancy told us they worry about their mental health. Even when pregnancies go to plan, becoming a parent can be tough.
Just 1% of over 1,000 people who completed our 2020 survey said the needs of dads and partners were properly met. 70% felt support for dads and partners during and after pregnancy was not good or non-existent, rising to 74% for pregnancies ending in loss.
Another survey this year showed that many partners feel like they don’t matter. They believe their anxiety, concerns or grief around pregnancy and loss shouldn’t be discussed, or that their position can be minimised by others. They’re often unsure where to turn for help.
Dozens of people told us they wanted tailored grief support for partners after loss, and many said that they would really benefit from hearing about the experiences of others.
After more than 500 individuals and organisations donated through our Big Give campaign last year, we set out to research and produce a new dedicated resource hub online specifically for non-birthing partners to help them, their health workers, and employers.
Our Dads and Partners Hub includes guides to pregnancy appointments, scans and tests; looking after your mental health after your partner’s pregnancy; money, work and relationships; and a guide to premature birth. A second section focuses on loss, and includes information on supporting your partner after loss; caring for your mental health; talking to other children about loss; and trying to get pregnant again after loss.
Launching Dads and Partners Hub
Launching on 4 July 2022 with an awareness campaign – #InThisWithYou – our Dads and Partners Hub is an online space that includes information, resources and advice from other dads and partners who have gone, and are going through, the pregnancy journey.
It's tailored to the challenges experienced by dads and partners at every stage of the pregnancy journey, from trying to get pregnant, pregnancy, birth, and loss.
Our Dads and Partners Hub has been developed with the support of focus groups and with oversight by organisations such as LGBT Mummies, who support LGBT+ women and people globally on the path to motherhood or parenthood.
Partners play such an important role in the pregnancy journey, but our research shows that partners feel there is a lack of information tailored for them, and little space to ask questions, however big or small. If there are complications or a pregnancy ends in loss, partners consistently tell us they feel like they have to be ‘the strong one’ and suppress their own grief at the expense of their own wellbeing as a result.
Many say they’re unprepared or overwhelmed for the changes and the ups and downs a pregnancy journey can take families on, but feel like they don’t have permission to seek support. Tommy’s is here for every baby and every parent – you do have that permission. We’re here to help you feel prepared, feel seen, and feel supported on your journey through pregnancy.
We at LGBT Mummies are proud as a partner of Tommy’s to have supported them with their Dads and Partners Hub to ensure all non-birthing parents’ experiences are listened to, validated and represented. This support is so desperately needed and will help ensure all families are supported, in turn creating more positive birthing experiences.
We’re doing IVF and I guess as the non-birth mother, I’m never really seen in the picture. It’s great Tommy’s wants to highlight the journeys. Our clinic has been great in the support they’ve offered from day one. I guess for same sex couples, it’s a different journey, especially the emotional side that doesn’t get highlighted.
- Coco, currently on an IVF journey with their wife
Don't be afraid to cry. Don't be afraid to talk about how you feel. It's important to let your partner know how you’re feeling. As a man it's almost programmed into us that we have to be the strong masculine figure that isn't affected by anything. By bottling things up, you need to believe me, it will do more harm than good.
Never be afraid to talk about baby or infant loss, ‘cause you will always be amazed with the amount of men that are suffering in silence, not knowing how to approach anyone.
- Dad Wayne Campbell from Rugby