Fathers to be are being encouraged to sign up for Britain's first "mantenatal" classes to help them prepare for impending fatherhood.

The classes are run by Britain's only fully-qualified male antenatal educator, builder Dean Beaumont, in partnership with Peterborough City Hospital, Cambridgeshire. He holds his DaddyNatal classes at a number of locations after office hours.

The classes are run exclusively for men, and Dean enforces a strict ban on women for the two-day course to allow men to chat openly about their fears.

Dean set up the classes in April 2010, and uses a wide variety of techniques and discussions - including showing clips from Monty Python - to highlight issues and concerns men may have about pregnancy, labour, birth and bonding with newborn babies.

Dean said: "There are traditional antenatal classes for couples, but what we do is look at it from a slightly different perspective," said Mr Beaumont.

"We can use male humour that perhaps wouldn't go down so well in a mixed setting.

The classes will run initially as a trial from May-July, and if it proves successful could be rolled out into other hospitals around the UK.

Posted by Robert Mair on 11.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com