Oxford Uni Study On New Dads

2 December 2011, 05:00 | Updated: 2 December 2011, 06:35

For the first time a study's being done in Oxfordshire to find out how first-time dads bond with their newborns.

Oxford University is working with NTC, the UK's largest charity for parents, to find out how fathers feel before and after their baby is born.

They are looking for 15 dads in Oxfordshire to share their experiences as part of the study.So far 10 have signed up with the first baby expected this week.

The researchers want to see whether certain hormones in the body promote or inhibit paternal feelings so they can help first-time fathers who aren't bonding.

The dads will provide blood samples before and after the birth with a final interview when the infant reaches 6 months.

They'll also have to fill out questionnaires so the team can see how new fathers feel about their relationship with their baby at key stages.

It's hoped the findings will also show how services can better support and prepare families during pregnancy and early days with their new baby.

Dr Anna Machin from Oxford University is leading the team:

"A child's development is strongly influenced by the relationships it builds during the early years of his or her life. Yet at the moment there is little understanding of the impact that a dad has.

"We hope this research will deepen our understanding. We are particularly keen to help fathers who find it hard to bond with their baby. We hope this research will help young children grow up to be secure, confident adults and give their fathers a positive parenting experience too."

To take part in the study email Anna at anna.machin@anthro.ox.ac.uk