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New fathers 'rock' boot camp

La Grange, IL – A class recently added to Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital’s lineup helps new fathers learn the ropes of caring for their little ones and dealing with the many life changes ushered in by a new baby. Fathers Rock boot camp, a 90-minute class offered every other month at the hospital, is one of the only postpartum classes offered at a suburban Chicago hospital that is specifically geared toward dads. The class complements Surviving Motherhood, a postpartum class geared toward new moms that has been offered for years at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.

“We wanted to extend the high level of support offered in our many prenatal education classes by creating this new postpartum education program,” said Janice Gries-Griffin, an advanced practice nurse and clinical specialist at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital’s Birth Center. “Given our changing demographics and increasingly mobile society, many new parents lack the support groups of the past that centered around close-knit neighborhoods and nearby members of the extended family. As a community hospital, we began looking at ways we could help these parents through the ups and downs of childrearing.”

The class is for new fathers only (no moms, please) and fathers must bring their babies with them to class. Topics addressed at Fathers Rock boot camp include interpreting baby language, baby’s rest/sleep cycles, breast/bottle-feeding issues, financial planning, spousal relationship tips, how to deal with in-laws, emotional issues and returning to work. Dads also learn about the importance of daily “kangaroo time,” a skin-on-skin bonding technique in which fathers hold their diaper-clad babies against their bare chests.

Instructor Paul Martinez, the hospital’s marketing manager and a father himself, said he hopes fathers come away from the class having learned more not just about their new baby, but also about themselves.

“Having a baby is a wonderful, life-changing experience,” Martinez said. “We want to give new dads the tools they need to feel confident in caring for their babies.”

For more information or to register for the class, call (630) 856-7500 or visit www.keepingyouwell.com, click on “classes & screenings” and select “Fathers Rock” from the drop-down menu. The $25 fee is waived for dads who attended the hospital’s Quick Tips for Labor and Delivery class or whose babies were delivered at hospital in the Adventist Health System. Upcoming classes are 6:30-8 p.m. June 4 and Aug. 6.

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.  To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.