WITH Father’s Day almost upon us, the University of Newcastle and parenting support group Ngala have released an app to help dads cope with the pressures of new fatherhood.
New dads endure a steep learning curve in the days and months following the arrival of a child, and they often struggle to connect with others who can offer support.
Early fatherhood can often lead to feelings of helplessness and isolation, which is what prompted the University and Ngala to develop the app ‘SMS4dads’.
The app sends text messages to dads throughout the pregnancy and after the birth, giving them information about the baby’s development as well as how to bond with and support their baby and partner.
The app also sends check-in messages, asking about how the dad is going emotionally.
Beyond Blue research shows five per cent of new fathers develop postnatal depression in the year after having a baby.
Ngala educator Keith Read, who facilitates DadsWA workshops in Perth, supports the use of SMS4dads for new fathers.
“Fathers play such a central role in the wellbeing and development of their children,” Mr Read said.
“Our message to dads is that it is in the best interests of your child that you seek out information about being the best father you can.
“If you are struggling a bit, or have “dadstress”, don’t try to tough it out – seek support.
“Your child needs you firing on all cylinders.”
Find out more about the app at www.sms4dads.com.