'Mantenatal' Celebrates Its Anniversary

8 March 2010, 05:00 | Updated: 8 March 2010, 08:18

Prospective fathers in Cambridgeshire have benefited from a year of antenatal classes just for men.

They take place on the first Thursday of each month at the Eaton's Children's Centre, on the Bushmead School site, off Bushmead Road in Eaton Socon.

The sessions give men a chance to meet up and find out more about all aspects of pregnancy - from the birth to being a father.

The classes were extended to run until the summer - but the popularity has been such that they've now been going for a full year.

St Neots based mum of three and NCT Antenatal Teacher Jenny Barrett started the Mantenatal sessions a year ago.  She said "I am really delighted that a year on the sessions are still going and that the feedback that we have had from local expectant dads who have come along has been so positive. I feel very strongly that if expectant dads can be better prepared for birth and early parenting then it can improve the experience for them and their partners as they embark on life with a new baby. The sessions are also a fantastic way for the expectant dads to chat to each other and I really hope that in the next year we can reach even more local dads to be."

Simon Devlin and Jon Reed went along before the birth of their babies.  Simon told us: "I found it quite interesting that before the NTC course was onto things like drugs and what is available in terms of pain relief that we'd already discussed it in Mantenatal, so when we were sat there in the NCT we had to keep quiet basically."

Jon said: "It's not particularly common that eight dads-to-be would get together, drop their guard and have a pretty honest chat about what they were thinking, what they were feeling and what they could see coming up in the next few months with their newborn.  So I found that particularly useful."

The next class is being held on Thursday 1st April 7-9pm.

There'll be another session on the first Thursday in May.