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NHS HIGHLAND: DadPad app will support new dads and dads-to-be

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By Susan Ross

While new dads will feel excited they may also feel left out, unsure and overwhelmed, says our columnist.
While new dads will feel excited they may also feel left out, unsure and overwhelmed, says our columnist.

In April, NHS Highland became the first health board in Scotland to launch the DadPad app. The app is an easy-to-use resource that is free to download and has been developed with the NHS to provide support and guidance for new dads and dads-to-be.

It was initially developed as a hard-copy resource in 2012 by Inspire Cornwall CIC, a Cornish-based community interest company, and is now available across a number of areas in the UK as an app.

Babies don’t come with instructions and while new dads will feel excited they may also feel left out, unsure and overwhelmed. The DadPad can help. It has been designed to be used as a quick reference tool that will enable new dads to enjoy their babies and feel more confident about fatherhood.

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The app is packed with relevant information, as well as details on local support groups and service providers. Its aim is to provide new fathers, whether it is your first child or not, with guidance on how to develop the mind-set, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their babies’ physical and emotional needs.

Building a strong attachment will not only enable dads to better enjoy their new role but also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies.

The app, which is available across Highland and Argyll and Bute, also provides dads with guidance on how to support and seek help, when needed, for their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new roles, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.

Topics covered include getting to know your baby, home safety and first aid, looking after yourself and supporting your partner as well as feeding, holding, changing and cleaning your baby.

Technology plays such a big part in everyone’s lives today so having the app has opened up a new way in getting this content, news, features and where to get support to dads quickly and easily.

At our launch in April it was great to hear from dads who had already started using the app and how useful they found it. Not just on how it helped them navigate a completely new way of life but also how it helped them to support their partner too. That’s exactly what the app has been designed for and we are delighted and proud that we have been able to launch this in NHS Highland.

The app is available wherever you get your apps. Just search for DadPad and download the one with the black background. This will take you to a whole host of information tailored to the area you live in.

Susan Ross is a perinatal mental health advanced nurse at NHS Highland.

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