NHS roasted as mums-to-be are advised to cook for ‘left out’ dads
THE NHS has been mocked for telling pregnant women to cook for their partner so they do not ‘feel overlooked’.
Campaigners accused health chiefs of promoting gender stereotypes by suggesting mothers-to-be ask their other half for help with household chores.
One critic said the advice – published on the NHS website – made their ‘jaw drop’ and another asked: ‘Did we just time hop to the 1950s?’ The ‘week-by-week guide to pregnancy’ says week 22 is a ‘good week to make a fuss of your partner’ so they do not feel ‘overlooked’.
The guide, produced by the Public Health England Start4Life campaign, adds: ‘They may be feeling nervous and not sure how they fit into the picture. Could you try cooking a special meal?’
Another section of the NHS website says pregnant women who are in pain should ‘get help with household chores from your partner, family and friends’.
Joeli Brearley, who founded campaign group Pregnant and Screwed in 2015, shared her frustration online, prompting hundreds of replies. The mother of two, from York, said: ‘Yes, we know that women do 60 per cent more of the domestic labour… but phrasing it this way only entrenches and perpetuates that gender stereotype, thereby ensuring women continue to do the lion’s share of the housework.
‘Also, many dads and partners don’t want to be reduced to a “helper”. They want to be equal in the raising of their kids. The second slide made me actually gasp. If your partner feels “overlooked” because you’re pregnant, then they might want to consider paying for their own counselling.’
PHE yesterday changed the website saying the wording was ‘out of date’ and ‘not appropriate’. NHS Digital also reworded its advice on household chores and now says: ‘Ask your family, friends or partner, if you have one, to help with everyday activities.’