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The love and care you can provide as a dad can make a huge difference to your baby’s health and development. The birth of a premature or sick baby can be a challenging time for everyone involved.

Being a Dad in a neonatal unit is a tough job and one that sometimes can feel unrecognised.  You may be experiencing a whole range of emotions such as anger, sadness, grief and guilt, but rest assured you are not alone in these feelings. Having a baby in a hospital is probably not how you imagined becoming a dad.

We have put together a downloadable tip sheet (link below) as well as a comprehensive list of articles, resources and personal stories to support new dads. We also have our Parent Support Line – 1300 697 736 where parents can speak directly to a fellow parent who has been through this journey themselves.

Download Tips for Dads

Dad holding baby in NICU

Meet dad and Peer Support Volunteer, Sam Blyth

I participate in a weekly dads group at the Royal Women’s Hospital NICU in Parkville, Melbourne and also participate in our NICU Connections facebook live chat group. Both of my children were born pre term and spent time in NICU. I wanted to use the experience to help families that are going through this challenging time. Read more…

Practical information and articles to support dads:

Surviving the NICU/SCN handy tips for when your baby is in the hospital.

Kangaroo Care a method of skin-to-skin contact to promote parent/infant bonding especially for premature babies.

More parent stories stories from parents real life experiences with their premature children.

Tips for Family and Friends in the hospital mums and babies are often the centres of attention. But this is a tough time for dads, too, both physically and emotionally. Family and friends may also be worried about the baby, and are often anxious to know how they can help without getting in the way.

Further reading:

Becoming a Father: 24-Hour Cotside Assistance – The Baby Manual– This booklet has been designed to inform new fathers about their newborn babies and his/her needs. Developed by Centacare and available through MENGAGE.

SMS4dads – A project to keep in touch with dads before and after birth through their mobile phones. The idea is to send text messages with tips, information and links to other services for new dads. The tips in the texts will help a dad connect with his baby but also help him support his partner, the mum.

Pillars of Strength – Providing Timeout & Support to Dads so they can support their families

Dadvice – Resource from Beyond Blue that follows a group of new dads on their journey into fatherhood for a four-part web series, Dadvice.

Mensline – 24/7 phone counselling

How is Dad going?PANDA’s website for dads whose lives have been affected by perinatal depression and anxiety.

Man Therapy – a website by Beyond Blue– Male-focused depression and anxiety resource

Beyond Blue – Help with Anxiety and Depression

Man UP – One Blokes Mission to Save the Aussie Men

R U OK? – R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.

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