SMS4Dads – advice for expecting dads from their baby

More expecting fathers in NSW now have access to text-based advice with the expansion of the successful, Hunter-based, SMS4dads program. Researchers from the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) developed the program to deliver information and tips to fathers’ mobile phones.

NSW Health is rolling out the service to other parts of NSW within its Focus on New Fathers pilot program. SMS4Dads is already available via Tresillian services.

Associate Professor Richard Fletcher said the messages use the ‘voice’ of the baby. He says dads don’t like being told what to do but they like getting tips from their baby.

“The program stops dads feeling isolated and gives them confidence to be the parent they want to be. “We used to think that a dad’s role started when their toddler could run and kick a ball. But now we know what a dad does from day one will influence his child’s development.”

He says the dads that took part in the Hunter pilot program gave extremely positive feedback.

“It helps to build the bond with baby and the mums say that the program helps dads be involved, even if they’ve gone back to work.”

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