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SMS4dadsSA Launches In SA

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Expectant fathers will soon be able to get text messages from their unborn child, as part of an innovative new service hosted by the Women’s and Children’s Health Network.

SMS4dadsSA is a free support service for expectant fathers being piloted by the SA Mental Health Commission, in partnership with the University of Newcastle and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN).

Lindsey Gough, the WCHN Chief Executive Officer, said the service would help fathers transition to parenthood by encouraging them to form a strong attachment to their child, support their partner and look after themselves.

“This service recognises that a dad’s close bond with his baby is vital for the development of the social and emotional wellbeing of the child,” Ms Gough said.

“Here at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, we focus on supporting the entire family and I’m proud we can help facilitate this important service for South Australian dads-to-be.”

Future fathers who enrol in SMS4dadsSA will receive regular text messages from their unborn baby, with tips and information relating to their child’s growth and development.

This will include messages such as “Talk to me about anything dad. Your words will help my brain development” and “At 20 weeks my eyelids and eyebrows are forming and I can even blink! Not much to see here but lots to look forward to.”

Chris Burns, the South Australian Mental Health Commissioner, said SMS4dadsSA provides new fathers with information and connections to online services and support, including regular checks on their physical and mental health.

“Along the way dads receive prompts to look after themselves too, whether that’s encouragement to eat better and exercise or asking them if they are doing OK,” Commissioner Burns said.

“If they say they’re feeling bad, they’ll get a phone call from a national perinatal mental health help line for some additional support.“Becoming a dad can be an exciting, rewarding and challenging time but often men don’t receive the advice they need to support themselves, their partner and most importantly, their new baby, before or after the baby is born.”

The pilot is looking for 300 dads for the trial with enrolment now open at www.sms4dadssa.com.au


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