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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

With his second child on the way, dad David Caren is bringing the online encyclopedia of information to men, and encouraging the second half of the parenting process to come forth with their experiences, worries, tips and all those feelings that dads new and old are going through but until now have no voice.

There are very few websites that focus just on the man's experience of fatherhood. Today we are introducing one of the few Irish websites for men to share the worries, and the joys, of becoming a father.

What inspired David Caren to set up

The idea was 'born out of necessity' if nothing else. When David's wife was expecting their first child he was logging on to the internet to find information and tips for dads to be. Although he found endless amount of great information, websites, chat rooms etc for mothers, there was nothing aimed there for dads. There are a lot of parenting websites, but again they are mainly aimed at mothers, and even when visiting the obstetrician most of the information, understandably is aimed at women, but the father's role seemed only to get them there, wait and bring them home non the wiser as to what they are meant to be doing or expecting.

What steps were taken to set up the website?

It began as a diary of his first year as a father, but as he spoke more and more to doctors, obstetricians & expectant fathers, the website grew into a magazine for men, also focusing on other aspects that men may shy away from communicating about. i.e visiting the doctor, grooming, etc, and keeping in the traditional interests of men such as cars and fitness.
It has stayed light hearted (features & articles) and the web page is designed aesthetically to be cutting edge and more acceptable for men to look at in work or public without feeling self conscious.
A lot of research was done speaking to health professionals and health related charity groups about men not going to the doctor with worries, and there is a full section of the website dedicated to Health and fitness. There is also sections in dealing with money, and the law, as families and times are changing, this is in every element a worry for parents and dads alike.

In the future months he also is aiming to open more discussions on paternity leave, and develop a female friendly zone 'Ladies First' on the webpage to allow women benefit from the safe webspace that he has provided for their men!

Inspiration for articles.
Many of the articles are written by himself, based on his own experiences and perceptions. He gives an honest view of the labour experience as long and boring, with the exception of the final moments. Therefore developing the concept of the the Man-ternity bag,

. Food, high energy drinks -PLAIN food (nothing that may have an odour that will turn your partners stomach, and nothing too nice that she'll insist on having for herself - so chocolate is out).
. Reading Materials or a Nintendo DS is useful to pass the time.
. Stop watch to both time contraction and record time of delivery.
. Fully charged Mobile phone &Coins for public phones (in case no mobiles allowed), MP3 player (with soothing sounds),
. Camera/Camcorder - be careful of the zoom button,
. Change of clothes and basic wash kit, in case you're there for a while, and the
. 1st Teddy - in case baby must leave for wash or weighing you can make sure the returned basket & BABY is with your Teddy!
Lastly always bring a pen and paper, if for nothing else to take down the midwife's name to send a grateful present to when it's all over. ? tips to help you help your partner through morning sickness:
1. Buy foods that need little preparation, foods that don't have much odour, and be considerate and eat smelly foods away from the house. Provide small regular meals or snacks throughout the day to ensure her stomach is never empty.
2. Take charge of household chores and, avoid unnecessary conflict (throughout the pregnancy!) and accept that intimacy may take a backseat for some time!
3. Chewing gum and taking glucose sweets in between meals helps some women to reduce their morning sickness. Ginger is a popular remedy for nausea - root ginger especially, which can simply be grated into boiling water and drunk hot or cold.
If you are ever in doubt of your partners symptoms consult your doctor immediately.
Although there are light hearted articles and opinion pieces on fatherhood, what other source of advice is available on the website?
The list of contributors is very impressive and is set to grow in the future.
Dr. Tony Foley is David's own doctor and specializes in men's health. Dr. John Waterstone, medical director and co-founder of the Cork Fertility Centre. Dr John Sharry, family and child psychotherapist and author of many parenting books. Also in the mix is writer and journalist Pol O'Conghaile, fitness instructor Padraig Murphy (Health Squad RTE) and Patrick Gallagher, money expert John Lowe and finally automotive expert Brian Byrne. All these contributors not only share their expertise, but are dad's themselves and share their own stories and how they dealt with day to day problems, like putting their kids to sleep and teaching them to be safe online.
For more tips and info visit is a comprehensive website designed for dads and dads to be, with information and chat for dads new and old, and is now developed into an online magazine website for men. Expert advice is available on the website about topics such as men's health, money, cars, and of course, fatherhood.