Birth of a Father
Boot Camp for Dads
Facing the Fear Factor continued...
The idea for Boot Camp was sired about 12 years ago, when
founder Greg Bishop, father of four and sibling to 12, noticed that most men
just didn't seem to enjoy their babies.
"Virtually every man out there wants to do the job, but
it's tough transition from 'guy' to 'father' and there are very few sources of
information," says Bishop, a Boot Camp coach at the Irvine Medical Center
in Irvine, Calif.
But that's changing. Boot Camp for New Dads has received a
grant to work with PROJECT JUMPSTART to join with healthcare providers and
community organizations to develop ways to reach, orient, and equip men to meet
the challenges of fatherhood.
For example, in some hospitals, nurses are taking new dads to
the nursery and walking them through the process of changing diapers and
bathing the new infant, while the moms recuperate from delivery.
"If a lot of obstetric nurses did that across the country,
men would be much more comfortable with newborns," Bishop says.
What to Expect When You Are Expecting
With its own type of basic training, Boot Camp for New Dads
helps expectant fathers get ready for dadhood.
"Classes are a combination of rookies and veterans, with
the veterans doing most of the talking," Bishop says. "The real experts
on new fathers are the new fathers, and having them relay their
experience works best.
"Moms usually sign the dads up, and they come before the
baby is born -- usually in the last trimester -- then they come back with baby
at two months as veterans," he adds.
That's the path Barrette followed.
"It was cool to revisit everything after having had the
child and to be able to share and discuss what a couple experiences postpartum
and how the nature of the relationship changes after the baby is born,"
Barrette tells WebMD.
"The biggest issue is that relationships take a big hit
when that baby comes along," Bishop says.
In fact, 20% of marriages decline seriously when the baby is
born, he says; 30% decline somewhat, 30% stay the same, and 20% improve.