By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian, NMCSD & NMW Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Becoming a parent is an exciting and challenging time in a person's life. Naval Medical Center San Diego helps to relieve some of this anxiety by offering a class for new dads.
Boot Camp for New Dads is a class to prepare new or seasoned dads-to-be an opportunity to learn about and prepare for both the challenges and fun of fatherhood.
According to Lt. Quoc Nguyen, third year pediatric resident and instructor for the class, the class helps answer questions and debunk common myths for new dads.
"The class setting is very relaxed. We start the class off with a few introductory questions that help dads open up and ask the questions that they really want answered," said Nguyen. "Most common questions that I get asked from new dads are: 'What do I really need? What are some things I can do for mom?'"
The class can help ease the transition into parenthood. Dads learn ways to prepare themselves for fatherhood and help their wives from the moment after the birth, through the first weeks after the baby arrives. To include signs and symptoms of common infant ailments.
New dads even get to experience a little bit of what their wives go through on a daily basis. The class provides an opportunity for dads to wear an empathy belly. The empathy belly is a 35 pound belly vest to simulate the extra weight and obstacles women have while pregnant. Dads then go through typical daily chores that are often challenging to women while pregnant, such as walking up a flight of stairs, tying one's shoes, picking things up off the floor and sometimes the uncomfortable positions for sleeping.
"I have a lot of empathy for my wife," said Engineman 2nd Class Derek Folmar. "I understand about having to pee all the time and the gas pregnant women have after five minutes of wearing the belly."
Boot Camp for New Dads is offered the last Tuesday of every month and one of the many classes the pediatric department provides to beneficiaries. Classes also include: Mom's Survival training; Sibling class and Infant/Child CPR training.
For more information about the classes offered by the Pediatrics department and how to sign up for classes call (619) 532-6846 or visit, http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Patients/Pages/PediatricClasses.aspx.
For more news from Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit www.navy.mil/local/sd/.