Beckham voted best dad

Article date: 13 March 2001

ENGLAND CAPTAIN David Beckham is not only a role model foryoung, aspiring footballers - today he's been voted 'the perfectdad' by other fathers.

Becks, father of toddler Brooklyn, topped the nationwide poll offirst time dads, beating father-of-four PM Tony Blair and Sir BobGeldof into second and third places to take the crown as theperfect father.

And soon-to-be father for a third time, Liam Gallagher, has beenvoted the worst role model dad.

The 'First-Time Dads' study by Norwich Union Healthcare showsthat first-time fathers are under-prepared for the arrival of theirbundle of joy - with a third doing no research of their own beforethe birth and three quarters admitting they didn't talk to theirpartner about their own feelings or concerns.

And almost half of all first time fathers feel that there is notenough information around to help dads prepare for the pregnancy orbirth.

Topping the list of fathers' biggest gripes after their baby wasborn were sleepless nights and tiredness, followed by a loss offreedom and reduced social life. But only one in ten new dads foundchanging nappies a problem.

The research - carried out amongst more than 400 first time dads- also shows:

The average amount of time fathers take offafter the birth of their child is 4.5 days and a quarter reducethe number of hours they work after the birth
 Nine in ten fathers felt they should be grantedmore paternity leave after the birth of their child
 Almost half of men don't attend ante-natalclasses with their partner
 A fifth of men who attended the birth said theyfelt squeamish, but nine in ten said it was the best experienceof their life
 A quarter of men would like to experience beingpregnant for a day

In response to the need to provide new fathers with realisticinformation and advice about pregnancy and the birth, Norwich UnionHealthcare has produced a guide called 'The Thin Blue Line'.

The guide has been written specifically for dads and includesinformation about preparations for the birth, such as ante-natalclasses and ultrasound scans, and what to expect from their partnerduring the pregnancy. It also includes tips on how to cope in thedelivery room and how to survive those first few months offatherhood.

Dr Doug Wright of Norwich Union Healthcare said: "Our researchshows that men want to be more involved in their partner'spregnancy and the birth, but feel that there's a lack of resourcesto help them. There is a need for information specifically writtenfor new dads and so we've written this guide."

Norwich Union Healthcare's guide is written with the help ofleading pregnancy, childbirth and parenting charity, the NationalChildbirth Trust (NCT). Its chief executive, Belinda Phipps said:"NCT research has also shown that there are significant gaps in theinformation that men want about pregnancy, birth and life with anew baby.

"All men should have the opportunity to find out about what toexpect during labour and childbirth, and how to be supportivebefore, during and after the birth. Confident, able fathers aremore likely to be involved fathers."

To obtain a free copy of 'The Thin Blue Line' call Freefone 0800200 203.

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union Healthcare commissioned Brand & Issues toconduct an independent survey of 410 males aged 25 - 45 years.Research was carried out in January and February 2001.
  • Norwich Union Healthcare was founded in 1990 as the healthcarearm of Norwich Union and now provides a range of income protectionand private medical insurance products to around 675,000customers. It is one of the largest providers of income protectionand private medical insurance in the UK.
  • The National Childbirth Trust is the largest and best-knownchildbirth and parenting charity in Europe. It offers wide-ranginginformation and support both at national level and locally throughits 400 branches. Consulted by decision-makers on all aspects ofpregnancy, birth and early parenting, the NCT works hard forimproved maternity care and better services and facilities for newparents.
  • CGU and Norwich Union merged on 30 May 2000 to create CGNU plc- the world's 6th largest insurer, the UK's largest insurancegroup and one of the top-five life insurers in Europe withsubstantial positions in other markets around the world.

CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings,general insurance and asset management with worldwide premiumincome and retail investment sales of £26 billion and assets undermanagement of more than £200 billion.

The combined life and pensions, general insurance and retailfund businesses in the UK operate under the Norwich Union brand,while the institutional business operates under the Morley FundManagement brand.

For further media information, contact Anja Kueppers or MatthewBuchanan at QBO on 020 7379 0304 or Louise Zucchi at NorwichUnion Press Office on 08703 66 68 60

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