Category Archives: For Men

Dads Matter: 3 Reasons You’ll Want to be Involved

You matter.

As a man and a dad, I admit, we don’t hear this message enough. In fact, far too often we receive the opposite message: “You’re the problem.” Or “It’s her choice; she doesn’t need you.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, research demonstrates that you matter to three very important people. Let me explain.

  1. Dad kissing baby
    You can have a massive impact upon your child’s life and future simply by choosing to be involved in his or her life.

    You matter to your child. You can have a massive impact upon your child’s life and future simply by choosing to be involved in his or her life. There are almost too many statistics and studies to cite that will back up this claim, but here are a few.

  • Your baby’s health is impacted by your presence or absence even before birth. Fathers indirectly impact fetal development, birth weight, preterm birth through their absence. This is because the father’s absence creates additional stress upon the mother. In fact, women without father support experience a higher rate (48%) of pregnancy loss than women with the support of the father (22.2%). This means that children whose fathers are involved during pregnancy are far more likely to experience a healthy birth.
  • As your child grows, simply being present to provide a positive influence affects his or her social and emotional development.
  • Your influence also dramatically affects their education. The lack of a father decreases a child’s ability to perform well in school. Simply not having a father present doubles the chances that children will drop out of high school and never graduate.
  1. You matter to the mother of your child.
  • When fathers are involved and supportive during pregnancy, mothers tend to take better care of themselves. Mothers who have the support of their babies’ fathers during pregnancy:
    • Obtain prenatal care earlier
    • Engage in fewer harmful behaviors (such as smoking, drinking, and using illicit drugs)
    • Eat healthier
    • Exercise more
  • Mothers are less likely to experience depression when the father is involved.
  1. You matter to yourself.

If you ever find yourself thinking, “I don’t matter,” just look at the facts. You do matter. And you can be an incredible influence on the people closest to you—including yourself.

So what are you waiting for? Get involved today.

Here are three easy ways to do that:

  1. Find out when her next appointment is going to be, and make sure you’re there.
  2. Make yourself reminders to ask her regularly, “How are you doing? Do you need anything?”
  3. Start learning how to be an engaged and involved dad by beginning the Being Dad course. It’s free, doesn’t take a lot of time, and meets on your schedule. What’s more, it’s mobile. So pick a place to meet, set up a time and try it out.

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Meet Mitch

Mitch Freeman, Fatherhood Specialist
Meet Mitch Freeman, Fatherhood Specialist.

Meet Mitch, our new Fatherhood Specialist.

Mitch is excited to meet with men who are the fathers in unintended pregnancies and offer a listening ear and support. He helps men work through their emotions and process the pregnancy decision.

Mitch’s story began when his mom found out she was pregnant with him. His biological dad left her when she told him the news. Here’s what Mitch has to say about it:

“My biological father left when my Mom told him she was pregnant, leaving her to make hard decisions and become a single parent. The first and biggest decision she made was to choose to continue her pregnancy. Two years later she married an incredible man who adopted me as his own.

“On the one hand, I can empathize with birth fathers because I understand that finding out you’re a father unexpectedly can be a scary time. I understand why the first reaction would be negative. But on the other hand, I can give them a message of hope. If they hang in there, the reward of being a father will be far greater than they now realize.”

After Mitch graduated from high school he began working as a painter. An accident where we fell from scaffolding made him unable to work for a year. He stayed with his grandmother for this year.

When Mitch was able to return to work, he went to seminary and then became a pastor for 10 years.

Mitch is married and is a father to five children, four boys and one girl. He likes to spend time with his family and enjoys coaching baseball for his sons’ teams. Mitch also enjoys reading, watching movies and being outside as much as possible.

Mitch looks forward to helping guys who come to our clinic work through their crisis moments of fear and uncertainty. He wants to walk with them and help them make it through to the other side where it’s not a crisis anymore. He wants dads to know that, even if things look bad, they can get to the other side and experience the great rewards of fatherhood.

Dads Matter

Dads Matter.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to Fatherhood.

While our clinic provides medical services for women only, we do offer other services for the guys. If a man is trying to figure out his role when his girlfriend is pregnant or if he wants to learn to be the best dad he can be whether or not he and his girlfriend will be parenting together – we can help.

So, if you’re a guy – read on to find out about what we can offer for you. And if you’re a woman, share this with your boyfriend, fiancé or husband.

Making a Pregnancy Decision

If you’re a guy and you think your girlfriend may be pregnant, or she tells you she is, it might be hard to know how to respond.

Be sure to listen, stay calm and talk about it. She needs your support now more than ever. Your thoughts are likely very important to her as she makes her decision. Find more do’s and don’ts here.

Don’t just say, “Whatever you want to do.” Even though she has the legal authority carry the pregnancy to term or have an abortion, you have a very active role in this situation. We can help you have this conversation.

We will also provide pregnancy testing and ultrasound as indicated – free of charge. You are invited to be at this appointment, and, with her permission, be there for the ultrasound.

And you can meet with a male peer advocate who can help you fully understand the options your girlfriend may have – and your role in this decision-making process.

If you are coming with your wife or girlfriend to an appointment for a pregnancy test or ultrasound, and you would like to talk to another man about your questions or concerns, text or call 608-259-1605 to schedule this meeting.

Preparing for Fatherhood

Not sure how to be a dad? Perhaps your dad was not involved in your life very much – or maybe you’d just like to learn more than you picked up along the way.

Fathers play a very important role in their children’s lives.

Our Practical Fatherhood curriculum is specifically designed with dads in mind. This series of 10 lessons, in a one to one format, can help you learn about role models, discipline, respecting your child’s mother, and the “dad difference.”

Fathers are also invited to attend and participate in all of our education programs where you will learn about nutrition, safety, fetal development, preparation for delivery and birth and more. There are more than 90 lessons available from which you and your girlfriend may choose.

Interested in learning how to be a dad from someone who’s been there? Male mentors are available to meet and discuss relationship and parenting issues. Get the tools you need to be equipped for fatherhood.

Childbirth Education & Infant Safety

This class, facilitated by a Lamaze trained RN, is designed with you and your girlfriend or spouse in mind.

You want to be a good partner to your wife or girlfriend, and to get off to a good start being a dad. Our Childbirth Education classes help you to do just that. Some of the things you’ll learn:

  • How to time contractions
  • When to go to the hospital
  • The stages of labor and the support you can offer
  • How to advocate for your baby’s mother

Like all of our services, Childbirth Education classes are free and confidential.

Regardless of how far along your partner is in this pregnancy, we can help you along the way. Text or call 608-259-1605 today to get started in having the conversations to make a pregnancy decision or to prepare to be the best dad you can be.