An NHS guidebook for soon-to-be parents has removed the word ‘dad’ following a complaint claiming it “was not inclusive of people in same-sex relationships”.

The Ready Steady Baby book, a free guide handed out to expectant parents for the past 14-years, has written out ‘dad’ and replaced it with the gender-neutral phrase ‘partner’ in response to the complaint.

The 220-page guidebook offers advice on pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting tips up until the baby’s first year. The NHS hands out more than 700,000 copies each year.

The politically correct move has angered family campaigners, who believe the removal of ‘dad’ undermines traditional family set-ups.


Norman Wells from the Family Education Trust, said in a statement: “This is all part of an agenda to present as natural a type of family that cannot be created by natural means.

“The NHS should not be squandering tax payers’ money to advance the cause of a minority interest group.

“No matter how much effort is made to present positive images of families headed by same-sex couples, the fact remains it takes a man and a woman to create a child.”

Ann-Marie McKimm, Founder of, told HuffPost Lifestyle: “I totally agree that this is a waste of taxpayers money. When the guide needs re-printing then that is the time to use more non-specific references to parents and up-date it if necessary.

"But by dropping dad they could also be insulting two men that are becoming parents to a surrogates baby and will both be 'dads'. This is political correctness gone crazy. Good old common sense needs to come into play here.”

ready steady baby

However, NHS health Scotland, which is behind the booklet, defends the revision, saying in a statement, reports the Telegraph: "It is standard practice to review publications on a yearly basis, if not more often.

"At the time this complaint was received the Ready Steady Baby text had just been through its annual review, changes made and the new edition was printed in December 2011.

"The review process identified the need to use language that was more inclusive, particularly in relation to same sex partnerships.”

Quick Poll

Are The NHS Right To Remove 'Dad' From Parenting Guide?


Loading Slideshow...
  • How To Be A Positive Parent

    Tips on how to instill good behaviour in your child from an early age by using the 'positive discipline' approach, as advocated by the <a href="" target="_hplink"><strong>National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Children</strong></a> (<strong>NSPCC</strong>).

  • Show The Love

    You can never spoil your child by showing them too much love. Boost their self-esteem by making them feel cherished, safe and special.

  • Have Clear Rules

    Have clear simple rules and limits. Your child needs to know what the boundaries are, what is and is not acceptable. Keep it simple to avoid confusion and concentrate on behaviour that really matters.

  • Praise Good Behaviour

    Praise good behaviour that you want to encourage and chances are, your child will repeat this as they know there's a reward at the end of it.

  • Ignore Bad Behaviour

    If you ignore behaviour you don't like, it is less likely to be repeated by your child. Make it clear that you're open to communication when they are behaving, but not when they are being naughty or disruptive.

  • Avoid Direct Criticism

    Rather than telling your child off for being bad, identify what they have done wrong and criticise the behaviour instead. Direct criticism can cause your child to go into their shell and become shy and withdrawn.

  • Show The Signs

    Be as demonstrative as possible. Sweep her off her feet and praise her to when she's been a good girl. She'll remember how happy it makes her feel and make her want to be good again.

  • Step In

    If it looks as though your child's behaviour is starting to deteriorate, step in before things go wrong. Redirect them to another activity to avoid conflict. Acknowledge your child's feelings by saying, 'I know you are cross" but make it clear that it doesn't go beyond that point.

  • Let Go of Control

    Children need to learn about dealing with choices and decision-making. Don't impose your decisions on them all the time, let them have their say on little things and gradually increase this as they get older.

  • Never Be Threatening

    Never use threats or physical behaviour, as this will only make the situation worse. Negotiate solutions when there is a disagreement and remember to communicate to help dissolve the problem. This way, your child will end up understanding what went wrong and why you are upset with them.

  • Set A Good Example

    It's vital for parents to be positive role models for their child and practice what they preach. Actions speak louder than words. Let your child see that rules apply to everyone in the family, not just him or her.