October 24, 2019–8:42 p.m.
Floyd’s Boot Camp for New Dads is aimed at helping dads become comfortable, competent and compassionate parents.
While childbirth and childcare classes for moms and couples are available, Floyd realized that new dads could use some extra guidance.
The Boot Camp for New Dads workshop is interactive. Men spend time in small groups with veteran dads who volunteer to help. Participants can ask whatever question they want, from details about the birthing experience to safety issues to coping with postpartum depression.
Mark Harrison and Mark Hannah, who work at Floyd’s Public Relations Department, are facilitators for the boot camp. They received special training in Colorado this past summer and are both fathers.
Harrison said he remembers that time of uncertainty as a new father.
“The first time I held my daughter, I was so worried that I would be too rough or clumsy with her,” Harrison said.
The upcoming Saturday session will take place Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Floyd Emergency Medical Services Conference Room, 500 Riverside Parkway. Register online at http://bit.ly/33FyCN9.
Harrison said he saw instantly during the first class in July how it can help new dads.
“I believe that the class settles so many worries and that it’s a unique opportunity for guys to share with other guys and talk about babies,” Harrison said. “It was fun to watch these guys walk in and be so tender-hearted and excited.”
One participant suggested afterward that the class be mandatory for new dads, Harrison said.
Hannah said new dads can benefit from hearing candid responses from men who recently went through the same experience.
“Although they will be referred to as veteran dads, they are still new dads themselves,” Hannah said. “But the ‘rookie dads’ will see that these guys are doing well and doing more than just surviving.”
“What I noticed was that the dads-to-be who came in looking apprehensive, even a little afraid, left feeling more confident, relaxed and secure about the birth of their child,” Hannah said. “They may not have all the answers, and that’s probably because there is no one right answer. Everyone’s situation is different. They just need to be patient with themselves.
Harrison also had some advice for moms about the new dads.
“Be patient and allow them to be your teammate along the journey,” he said.
PHOTO: Dylan Moran feeds a tyke with a bottle during July’s event