The first 1000 days of child’s life are key when it comes to building those important relationships.
Retired Hobart midwife Ron Hastie works with about-to-be and new fathers on what to expect during childbirth and how to be good dads.
“All the research says the first 1000 days are when you connect to someone. Obviously most babies connect to their mothers, but if you can get dads, two connections are even better,” he said.
For the past year Mr Hastie has been running Beer + Bubs childbirth education classes for Launceston fathers every two months.
The classes are part of a national program teaching men to look after their partners in labour, but Mr Hastie extends his classes to look at the early years of fatherhood.
“I talk about the importance of fatherhood in a baby’s life. A connected and involved dad makes a world of difference.”
“It’s not just women’s work, that early stuff. If you can get early parenthood right, you’re half the way there,” he said.
Experts like Steve Biddulph and reading parenting books are “excellent resources”, but the opportunity to sit down with a group of men in the same situation and talk through the process is invaluable, Mr Hastie said.
“They are keen to be good dads, but don’t know where to look or how to find that information,” he said.
Mr Hastie invites a past participant to come along and talk about their experiences.
“Most love it,” he said.
Flexible work situations and parenting leave make it easier for fathers to take time off with a newborn, or work from home.
Mr Hastie encourages fathers to spend time at home with their babies when they can, otherwise they can miss out on milestones because children “grow up too quickly”.
- Beer + Bubs classes are held at Launceston and Hobart. The next Launceston class is on Monday, October 8, at Saint John Craft Beer between 6pm and 10pm. Visit www.beerandbubs.com.au for more information and to book.