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Dads can be distressed before and after the birth. Everyone will know about mothers’ getting the blues. Fathers can also be sad or just stressed. The difference is that few dads know where to go for help. Dads with psychological distress can end up isolated.
SMS4dads is a new project to keep in touch with dads before and after the 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 dads connect with their baby but they will also help him be a support for his partner, the mum. Some texts will remind the dads to take care of himself.
For example a dad may get a text saying…
Babies cry. That’s how they talk. Did you know that baby crying peaks at about 6 weeks after birth?
Or he may see…
Touch helps keep the relationship on track. It doesn’t have to be sexual. Touching each other even briefly can make you stronger together
Each week the dads will also receive a ‘How’s it going?” text. Dads can reply with Awesome or Cool or OK or Shaky or Bad. Dads who respond ‘bad’ will be asked if they would like someone to call them who is a specialist in talking to men with distress.