Letlhakeng — Fathers have been encouraged to be more involved in raising their children. Stepping Stones programmes coordinator, Mr Salani Gambule, made the plea at launch of the Men Care campaign in Letlhakeng recently.
"Men should help by going to the clinic with their partners for their monthly antenatal check-up. This will help take off some pressure from the expectant mothers and relieve them of stress which comes with being pregnant because these expectant mothers would have a shoulder to lean on.
We need to share the burden because if we ignore our expectant partners, they could be stressed or even get depressed because of the feeling that they are going through it alone which is not good for the baby," he said.
He advised men to be more understanding of the women's mood swings, morning sickness and sleepless nights during pregnancy.
Mr Gambule urged men to spend more time with their babies and partners and show them love, care and respect.
He said gone were the days when fathers only turned up a week or even a month after their babies were born.
He said this was a set back and deprived the child the privilege of being held in their father's arms during the earliest stages of their lives.
"Bonding with your child during their earliest hours could lead to a life time of trust. This is something that can make the infant attached to their fathers," he said.
He also expressed concern about fathers who abandon their children or deny fathering them.
Mr Gambule urged 'expectant men' as well as those who had children between the ages 0-6 years to join the Men Care movement adding that it was a global fatherhood campaign funded by the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) to promote involvement of fathers in child growth and instill responsibility in them.
He further said as Stepping Stones they are currently conducting a research within the area to find out if men visit health care facilities seeking Sexual Health Reproductive services.
He said as an organization they were concerned about the rate of prostate cancer affecting men in the country and said this could be because men do not visit clinics for services like screening.
He expressed gratitude to men in Letlhakeng for their participation and support in the MenCare movement as well as the support they have been receiving from the village leadership.