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HDHS: Dads To Bee Information Program

Hawkesbury District Health Service runs a unique program for fathers-to-be that places emphasis on the needs of men as they approach fatherhood. It provide a useful model for father-centric practice.

Dads To Bee Program

Dads To Bee Program

 

 
These sessions are specifically designed to meet the needs of the men in a group setting where fathers-to-be share their experiences amongst their peers...
 
The Dads 2 Bee program aims to increase opportunities and health services for men in the Hawkesbury Area by establishing and facilitating ‘all male antenatal forums’ at Hawkesbury District Health Service. 

The program is based on the need for services for men in the area and aims to provide a supportive environment to foster and strengthen bonds between fathers and their child and the child’s mother. 

The forums will run for over two hours, for two evenings, every five weeks, for two years. Each forum is delivered by two facilitators to groups of up to 12 participants, with approximately 480 participants over two years.   HDHS will expand the service to meet the needs of the growing local community of young families in the Hawkesbury.
 

What was the issue? 


There was no support or education for dads that honoured them as they approached fatherhood, nor were there opportunities to take time out as a group of blokes, to all talk freely about their experiences or fears of becoming a new dad.
 

What are the main aims of the program?

 
  • To improve hospital staff knowledge of men’s health
  • To build partnerships with fathers in the community to develop strategies to improve men’s health.
  • To create an opportunity for men to develop support networks.
  • To improve men’s knowledge and understanding of environmental tobacco smoke, healthy weight, men’s health including fathering and child nutrition.
  • To establish and build a working party around men’s health issues in the Hawkesbury.
  • To develop and evaluate the effectiveness of the program (evolution).
 

What did we do?


We developed a specific men’s component for inclusion as an integral part of the existing antenatal classes already being run by HDHS.   These ongoing sessions are specifically designed to meet the needs of the men in a group setting where fathers-to-be share their experiences amongst their peers.
 
HDHS included men’s ante-natal classes as an integral part of the ante-natal classes already being run. These ongoing sessions are specifically designed to meet the needs of the men in a group setting where fathers-to-be share their experiences amongst their peers.      
 
The Dads 2 BEE Booklet has been especially written for dads and designed for Hawkesbury fathers discussing topics such as PND, breast feeding, men & labour, resuming sex, grief and loss, moods, relationships, getting to know your baby and dealing with the new family.
 
HDHS developed an education/resource hand out pack specifically for fathers to better equip them on becoming a dad. This offers a variety of resources to help them become a new father. It focuses on positive experiences and lists a variety of websites to gain more information.
 

What was the outcome?


So far, antenatal classes have been run for more than 90 fathers-to-be, getting significant feedback on the program, praising it and wanting more father support both prenatal and postnatal.   The program has received great feedback from men and their partners on how it has helped practically, e.g. to talk about issues that were troubling them.
 
New fathers have also sought follow-up information after the birth to help deal with their concerns. 

In addition to running the classes, a wide variety of practitioners were contacted to develop the pilot information booklets.  The resource packs have been sent to over 100 prospective parents.

Dads 2 Bee has engaged with 30 other agencies/practitioners, both local and regional to create this program.   Partnerships and wide consultation such as this will allow the program to be sustainable and spread beyond HDHS.

Resources Available

  • Dads 2 Bee Booklet

    The Dads 2 Bee boolet offers new fathers a useful set of resources, questions and answers, and checklists..

     
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