A spokesman for Public Health England, which was responsible for the guide, said: “This wording is out-of-date and has now been changed. We recognise it is not appropriate and we apologise.
“We would encourage all pregnant women to seek help if they need it both physically and emotionally.”
Joeli Brearley, who founded Pregnant Then Screwed, a campaign group against discrimination during pregnancy, said the guidance made her “actually gasp”.
“If your partner feels ‘overlooked’ because you’re pregnant, then they might want to consider paying for their own counselling,” she said.
Ms Brearley, a mother of two from York, also took aim at another tip on the NHS website for women to “get help with household chores from your partner, family and friends” if they were struggling during pregnancy.
“Phrasing it this way only entrenches [and] perpetuates that gender stereotype, thereby ensuring women continue to do the lion’s share of the housework,” she said.
“Also, many dads and partners don’t want to be reduced to a ‘helper;’ they want to be equal partners in the raising of their kids.”