July 16 2021
TOKYO – An NPO has produced a booklet of stories and support for fathers who have had to deal with the problems and struggles of being a father when it is suggested that their baby may have a disease or disability.
The booklet, ‘ForFathers’, was produced by the Association to Support the Future of Parents and Children, a non-profit organisation made up of doctors and parents of children with disabilities.
The booklet is based on a survey of about 30 fathers who have been told that their babies may have a disease or disability before or after birth. Some fathers said they had to restrain their feelings while their wives were in shock, while others said, “Please don’t deny your feelings. If you can find even one calming word or thought in the support around you, you will feel better.
The book also includes advice on how to talk about the new life and family with your partner and family, such as “talk about the new life and family with your siblings”.
Dr Nobuhiko Hayashi, the chairman of the group that produced the booklet and a gynaecologist, said: “Until now, there has been little awareness that men also suffer from this problem. This booklet is for fathers, and I think it will support couples when they are worried or anxious.”
The booklet can be viewed and downloaded from the website of the Association to Support the Future of Parents and Children.
A father who participated in the production of this booklet and who lost his daughter after postnatal treatment said: “I cried alone in the car on my way home from work every day, because I felt I had to support my family as a father and there was nowhere to let out my feelings. I hope that the fact that there are other fathers who have gone through the same thing will give me support.”