Being a new dad can be a difficult thing to come to terms with, but being the parent of a child in neonatal care potentially brings even more complex emotions and problems, as well as a wealth of complex information to digest.
The idea for DadPad Neonatal was conceived by Professor Minesh Khashu, Consultant Neonataologist at Poole Hospital and Clinical Director for Maternity, Children and Young People at NHS Wessex Clinical Senate and Networks.
The DadPad Neonatal is a pack of laminated cards containing help, information, guidance and support for dads who find themselves on a neonatal unit. It is hoped the resource will become a valuable tool for fathers during a sensitive time, as well as a keepsake book for the father, child and family, with spaces to add notes and photos.
It recognises a need for better communication and support for fathers of babies on neonatal units. DadPad Neonatal complements the existing DadPad for new dads, and is thought to be the first resource of its kind.
“DadPad Neonatal brings together a range of information in a handy and convenient pack. I was excited about the potential opportunities for neonatal units and keen to develop a specialised version for this purpose,” said Professor Khashu.
To celebrate the launch of DadPad Neonatal on Father’s Day 2018, Professor Khashu, Julian Bose at Inspire Cornwall CIC who developed the original DadPad, and staff at the Poole Hospital Neonatal Unit invited some of the families whose babies had been admitted to the unit, as well as the dads and families who helped develop the content.
“Having a sick or preterm baby is a very stressful time for parents,” says Professor Khashu. “It can get even more stressful for dads who may have to go back to work quite quickly and may not be able to spend as much time on the neonatal unit as they would wish to. I think the new pack will be a huge asset for all parents and staff, and especially for dads.”