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About2021-01-18T04:31:37+00:00

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT

SMS4dads provides new fathers with information and connections to online services through their mobile phones.

The text messages with tips, information and links to other services help fathers understand and connect with their baby and support their partner.

The expected date of delivery or date of birth, which is entered when you Join Up, ensure that the texts are linked to the developmental stage of the baby (from week 16 of the pregnancy until 24 weeks post birth).

Many texts use the ‘voice’ of the baby, for example,

‘You can talk to me about anything dad. Your words will help my brain development’

Others suggest actions dads may like to take, for example:

‘Try to find ways to tell your partner she is doing an amazing job. This is really important and helps build her confidence.’

FAQS

WHAT DO THE MESSAGES SAY?2020-10-27T10:40:52+00:00

A FATHER MAY RECEIVE A MESSAGE SAYING…

“Although it’s noisy in here, I will be able to hear your voice from about 20 weeks. Try telling me about the things we will do together.”

SOME MESSAGES HAVE LINKS TO OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION…

“If you’re both up for it, then there’s usually no problem with having sex during pregnancy. It will not harm the baby. Visit this LINK for more info.”

CHECKING IN

Approximately every three weeks a ‘How’s it going?” interactive text is sent timed for common challenges such as baby crying or getting intimacy back. Dads can reply with a click and be directed to online help or more information.

ARE MUMS SUPPORTIVE?2020-10-27T10:36:30+00:00

They certainly are.

As one mother put it:
“It helped my partner to feel part of the “baby process”, and that his experiences were also important. This made for a more cohesive family unit. The messages gave us both confidence and helped to avoid fights when extreme fatigue set in”.

HOW DO YOU SIGN UP?2020-10-27T10:36:53+00:00

It’s easy. Click here to  JOIN UP

Enter your name, phone number and demographics, say if you smoke or drink, complete a 10 question survey and you’re in. Any dad or partner of a mum who is pregnant, or any dad (or someone who is in the role of the dad) of a baby less than 24 weeks old can join up.

HOW MANY MESSAGES ARE SENT?2020-10-27T10:39:36+00:00

Once registered, you receive about THREE MESSAGE PER WEEK,

Messages can start from 16 weeks into the pregnancy up until 48 weeks after the birth. 

Messages are timed to match the development of the foetus or baby. So, you get messages to suit your baby – if you sign up one week before the birth your messages are synced to that stage of pregnancy. If your baby is two months old, your messages will be for that age. 

WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO KEEP GETTING THE MESSAGES?2020-10-27T10:37:57+00:00

You simply text back ‘STOP’ to any message and we take you out of the program.

There are no follow up offers or message asking you ‘Are you sure you want to leave?’ Just one text asking you to give a reason. It will say Thanks for being part of SMS4dads. Your messages have been stopped. Do you want to tell us why you are stopping? 1=not helpful, 2=I did not sign up for this, 3=situation has changed, 4=too busy, 5=other reasons. And that is all.

WHAT IS THE MOOD CHECKER?2020-10-27T10:38:31+00:00

About every three weeks you will receive an interactive text with a question about how you are going with one of the common challenges such as: getting ready for the birth, baby crying, regaining intimacy, or returning to work.

The idea is to take a few moments to register how you are doing and maybe get some info or help. The Mood Checker has links to online resources.

CURRENT PROJECTS

We’ve got a few things on-the-go! As word gets out about SMS4dads, more and more dads will have access to the service.

SMS4RURAL DADS

While more than 2,000 dads have completed the SMS4dads program nearly all of them came from urban areas.

READ MORE

FOCUS ON NEW FATHERS

In what will be the largest trial yet up to 30,000 dads-to-be and new dads will be able to enrol in SMS4dads over the 9 months from September 2020.

READ MORE

SMS4BABA (Kenya)

A pilot study is translating the texts from SMS4dads into Swahili for dads living in the settlements surrounding Nairobi and in Kilifi.

READ MORE

CONTRIBUTORS

There’s been a bunch of people on board to bring SMS4dads to life

The original idea was developed by Richard Fletcher but the SMS4dads program has had contributions from many researchers and clinicians from all areas of Australia and overseas.

As well the thousands of dads who have engaged with SMS4dads there have been lots of individuals who have helped to develop the content and delivery:

Chris May, Jennifer StGeorge, Peter Gordon, Geoff Skinner, Frances Kay-Lambkin, Jacqui Macdonald. Jamie Wroe, Olive Auman, Rebecca Giallo, Rebecca Liackman, Jeanette Milgrom, Louie Hahn, Brett Sales, Alan Hayes, Brian Kelly, John Attia, Helen Skouteris, Craig Garfield, Paul Ramchandani, Louise Newman, Kim Hudson, Jenny Chaves Miranda Cashin, Jenni Richardson, Luke Martin, Dawson Cook, Nick Kowalenko, Nicole Highet, Bryanne Barnett, David Ellwood, Jane Warland, Ian Symonds, Michael Stark, Eileen Dowse, Alka Kothari, Jackie Mead, Cate Rawlinson, Elisabeth Hoehn, Libby Morton, Andrea Baldwin, Graham Stark, Jennifer Waterson, Janette Garvey, Sarah Moakes, Nick Kowalenko, Louise Newman

WHAT DO DADS SAY?

Feedback from dads has been really positive. Below are some comments from dads who have participated in SMS4dads

Just as things are starting to change – you get a new message with relevant information

Knowing that it’s from an actual research organisation and geared towards dads it added an element of trust

I could trust that the information would be evidence-based and backed, and appropriate

The messages that were sort of written from the point of view of the child

It helps, I guess, when you go back to work and you’re separated from them initially

It reminded me that bub was not like grizzling out of spite for me. It’s just that she needs something –  it helps when you get a bit stressed

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