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Jodi Hersey Jodi Hersey
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Area fathers welcome at Boot Camp for New Dads

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BANGOR - There is no instructor's manual that comes with raising kids, but Penquis and Eastern Maine Medical Center are offering the next best thing: Boot Camp for New Dads. It's a free workshop that Penquis has made available for area fathers-to-be for more than 10 years.

"Our average attendance is about eight to 10 men, primarily from Penobscot and Piscataquis County," said Denise Trafton, home visitor with the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, a service of Penquis. "Popular conversations include how to support your partner, what to expect with a newborn, how to support breastfeeding, new family roles and the nuts and bolts [such as] feeding, diapering and development."

At least one experienced father, sometimes two, attend the gathering with their own infant to answer any questions or discuss with the soon-to-be dads how to hold, talk and play with their new little one. Trafton said participants have often felt this one-on-one opportunity is the best part of the workshop.

"Folks who attend express how grateful they are to get together with just dads," said Trafton. "[One man said,] 'I definitely felt more informed when I finished the class than when I first walked in.' ' 

The Boot Camp for New Dads is designed for men whose significant others are in their last trimester of pregnancy. The workshop will take place in the Brandow Conference Room at EMMC on Wednesday, March 27 from 6 to 9 p.m., where drinks and pizza will be provided. For more information on the Boot Camp for New Dads, contact Denise Trafton at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 974-2488 or Pam Smedick Houston with EMMC at 973-8742.

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