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HomeNewsCalling dads-to-be and new dads across NSLHD

Calling dads-to-be and new dads across NSLHD

Northern Sydney Local Health District has rolled out a free text messaging service to help new and expectant dads navigate the challenges of parenthood.

The new pilot program, called Focus on New Fathers, sends text messages to dads offering valuable health advice and links to other services to help them understand and connect with their baby and support their partner.

The expected date of delivery or date of birth is entered at enrolment to ensure the texts are linked to the developmental stage of the baby.

The messages also include regular checks on how the dad is feeling with common challenges such as getting ready for the birth, baby crying, regaining intimacy, or returning to work. This aims to prompt the dad to register how they are doing and maybe get some extra information or help through the links provided in the message.

Northern Sydney local resident Jarryd Porter signed up to the program about two months before his partner was due to give birth. Jarryd said the messages are short and sharp and sent at times relevant to your journey.

"By putting in the baby’s due date made the text messages feel really personal and reflective of the stage we were at with our baby," he said.

By putting in the baby’s due date made the text messages feel really personal and reflective of the stage we were at with our baby.
Jarryd Porter, Northern Sydney local resident and father

"Useful reminders were sent such as do something special as a couple before the baby is born, as well information on how mum might be feeling at different points.

"Once the baby was born, messages came through with information on how to keep the baby safe and healthy."

Northern Sydney Local Health District’s Director of Child, Youth and Family Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy, said the service is all about helping dads to feel confident and supported in their role as a parent.

"Often dads are really busy before and after the birth and attending parenting classes can be tricky," she said.

"A subtle stream of tips, information and links to services via mobile phone is proving really useful and a supportive resource for dads."

Men living in Northern Sydney can sign up if they are over the age of 18, their partner is at least 16 weeks pregnant or their baby is younger than six months.

The pilot, which is being delivered by the University of Newcastle in partnership with NSW Health, will run over the next year.

For more information, and to sign up for the program, visit

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