Supporting expectant fathers to become the “World’s Best Dad” with new video resources

Supporting expectant fathers to become the “World’s Best Dad” with new video resources

Becoming a father is one of the most important, demanding and rewarding things you will ever do, and more often than not, it is the role men are least prepared for.

The team at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals recognise that not only are mothers overwhelmed after the experience of childbirth, but fathers can also struggle with the adjustment.

Pastoral Care Practitioner, Samuel Dow, and Occupational Therapist, Esther van Raalte, focus on supporting Mater dads with a positive parenting experience—highlighting the importance of preparedness and education before, during and after the birth of their baby.

“Being a parent is a joyful experience, but it can also be overwhelming, exhausting and challenging,” said Samuel.

“It’s important to remember you and your partner are not alone—there’s a whole community here who are feeling the same things you are, and they’re looking for a way to connect and share the experience too.”

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, with the support of Mater Foundation, have created a series of educational, fun videos for dads to turn to for information, insight, and guidance.

The four videos focus on preparing to become a dad, what to expect after the birth of your baby (in hospital), at home with your newborn, and finding support for dads.

Esther acknowledges that some men choose to stay quiet about their anxieties but emphasises how important it is to normalise these feelings and encourage open communication.

“Make certain that you talk about your anxieties around the pregnancy and relationship changes with your partner, as she may very well have the same concerns,” Esther said.

“Those first few days after birth are such a special time for your growing family, but feelings of stress, fear of not knowing what to do and being generally overwhelmed are also common so be sure to take time to focus on your wellbeing too.”

It’s a cliché phrase, but it does take a village to raise a child—Samuel and Esther recommend building your community with friends, family, your local GP and child health nurse, and support networks that align with your values.

“Start planning before your little one arrives and focus on your emotional wellbeing as an expectant father, you’ll have a lifetime of learning and being curious together as your family grows,” said Samuel.

“The most important gift you can give your children is your love, so be involved and spend time with your little one in a meaningful way.”

For more information about other resources available to Mater families, speak to your midwife or occupational therapist on the ward. At our South Brisbane campus, we also offer Dads’ Sessions for families on the postnatal ward.

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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