During that first year we ended up in love again; Women take on a whole new level of attraction when you realise how capable and fantastic they can be as a mother and how it can benefit your life and the life of your family. 
During the day, we prioritised a walk together each afternoon with him sleeping in the pram or a sling. This meant that we still felt like we were getting out of the house and spending some time together.
Gentle touch such as holding hands, cuddling, hugging and a light kiss are all acts of intimacy that mean alot
Sex is obviously off the table for some time, but taking a few spare minutes just to hold each other can be really nice.
We look for and try to latch on to any times just for us to connect – even if they’re short and the baby is there sleeping, we’ve found this super helpful.
Take moments whenever you have an opportunity to have some kind of physical intimacy.
There is no doubt that a new baby can add extra stress to your relationship.
Dads have to figure out the best way to have a good relationship with their partners in this challenging and joyful time.
On average, dads and mums say their satisfaction with each other goes down after the birth. But this does not mean every couple disagrees and argues all the time and that they don’t make up.
Research also says that there are lots of couples who stay at the same level of closeness and many get stronger in their relationship 
1. Fletcher, R. (2011). The Dad Factor: How the Father-Baby Bond Helps a Child for Life. Warriewood, NSW: Finch Publishing. P123
2. ter Kuile, H., van der Lippe, T., & Kluwer, E. S. (2021). Relational processes as predictors of relationship satisfaction trajectories across the transition to parenthood. Family Relations.
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Richard’s research revealed possible long-term negative impacts on the children of dads with mental health issues. Fathers’ depressive symptoms in the first year after the birth predicted behaviour problems in their children years later.
“If dads’ mental health has such a dramatic impact then we need to be screening dads for depression, not just mums,” Richard explains.
In response to these limitations, Richard and his team have designed a smart-phone based program that allows mobile connection for new and expectant dads.
Participants receive texts containing information and links, and self-report their mood. If the mood tracker identifies dads as needing extra support, they will be offered a phone call from a counsellor trained in this area.
Following the success of the pilot of the SMS4dads program, Funding was received to enable a National roll-out.
“When dad’s miss antenatal classes or activities, they also miss out on contact and links to other people. They may never get the chance to say to anyone, look I’m really stressed,” he points out.
“SMS4dads is a way of bringing dads into the health system and keeping them linked in with services and support,” explains Richard.
Richard credits a varied career, a talented and innovative team, and much life experience for affording him the insight needed to address the challenges related to actively engaging dads.
After completing his masters in Medical Science, studying epidemiology, Richard earned his PhD focusing on fathers and attachment.
“Fathers are invisible in many places, and that is endemic. Not because people dislike fathers, but because the system is set up to be focused on mothers.”
Some services and organisations are aware of the need to engage dads, but have been unsuccessful in their attempts.
“When people are challenged about this, they generally want dads involved,” Richard affirms.
“Often, however, they just don’t know how to do it.”
Richard works with health professionals on issues related to fathers, and has delivered many antenatal programs for expectant dads.
He credits his own family with giving him an understanding of the role of fathers needed to make his work relevant.
“I have three daughters and two stepdaughters,”
“My kids would say they taught me just about everything I know and they’d be right. They’ve taught me a lot, and still do.”