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Dad’s the word on educating the newbies

HELP AT HAND: Darren Mattock
HELP AT HAND: Darren Mattock JERAD WILLIAMS

AUSSIE "DADvocate" Darren Mattock is on a mission to help new and expectant dads prepare for fatherhood with his Expectant Dad Workshop.

Mattock launched Becoming Dad in 2012 in response to the lack of services and support for expectant and new dads in Australia.

Now he's holding The Expectant Dad Workshops to help educate expectant and new dads.

"Expectant dads are grossly under-engaged, under-educated and under-supported as they are preparing to be present for the birth of their child, play an important support role for their partners, the role of fatherhood and becoming a family," he said.

Meeting up at the pub and talking over any fears and concerns in a no-judgment zone - as Becoming Dad and The Expectant Dad Workshops do - can work wonders for the confidence and skills of new and expectant dads, Mr Mattock says.

"It is a male-friendly environment that they can relax in. The focus is not on drinking beer - it is about getting 'dad ready' and meeting the needs of men in a modern way that works.

"It's all about getting together, having that opportunity to check in and see how they're doing."

His revolutionary workshop groups are attempting to fill a gap, he says.

"Antenatal classes are really not hitting the mark with men," he said.

"They walk out after six weeks of class and still not know what they're meant to do at birth."

The workshops help them gain practical tips and knowledge to overcome their fears and deal with the changes coming their way.

He's attempting to tackle a larger issue, he explained.

"It is past time that we review policies, practices, services and supports available to expectant and new dads at a systemic level," he said.

"The roles of men and social expectations have changed radically over the past few decades, but the system has not caught up."

The Byron Bay workshop is on September 4 at the Byron Bay Brewery.

Topics:  fatherhood, parenting



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