Dads, breastfeeding and drinking in pregnancy – how parenting’s been transformed

The way we bring up our children has changed completely from our mums’ day, reveals survey


The way we raise our children today is totally different our own childhood, according to a new survey of over 800 parents by Practical Parenting & Pregnancy magazine. Changes in parenting and medical advice have transformed the way we bring up our kids, from pregnancy to bedtime stories.


The differences begin in pregnancy. Back in the 1970s, nearly half of all mums-to-be drank alcohol. Nowadays that’s dropped to a third. On top of that nearly a quarter of those who did drink enjoyed more than six units a week – that’s at least three glasses of wine! By the 2000s this had fallen dramatically (and reassuringly) to just 4% of mums-to-be.

Breastfeeding has seen ups and downs since the ‘70s. Then, only 45% of mums breastfed for six months. In the ‘80s this went up to 68% but by the 2000s it was back down to 56%, suggesting modern mums still need more support and advice to help them breastfeed for longer.

What we find most reassuring about these changes is the role of dads in their children’s lives. Nearly all (94%) of dads now put in an appearance at the birth, a definite improvement from 30 years ago when only 58% witnessed this momentous event.

Compared with dads in the past, our men are also a whole lot more helpful these days too, with 98% of them changing nappies (compared to just 68% previously) and 91% around to put their kids to bed (compared to 62%).

On the nappy front, let’s hope it’s 100% before this decade’s out

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