Second-time dad Imran Dickinson has been sharing his experience of fatherhood at a Saturday Dads’ Club backed by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
Imran, 32, has two children, Marlo, aged three, six-month-old Zaria who were both born at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
“We had a smooth birth with both our children. There were a few more hospital visits when my wife was pregnant with Zaria due to reduced movement but we were well looked after by the midwives,” he said.
When Marlo was very young, the couple initially struggled to get a diagnosis for what they now know to be a cows’ milk allergy.
“It was very emotional with it being lockdown as well. We felt very alone. It is not nice seeing your child screaming when taking milk or being in discomfort. We didn’t have a great experience with our GP and decided to move to another doctor’s who helped us.”
“When Zaria was born, we went through it all again, being told we had to buy the milk until we saw a paediatrician. The milk is £40 for a 400ml tub.
“However, this time we had the confidence to push back and get a diagnosis from the GP and got a prescription for the appropriate milk as soon as possible. Those situations were very stressful for myself and wife.”
Imran took Zaria with him to the dads’ club and found it particularly useful sharing his experiences with other dads and hearing from them.
“There are loads of groups for parents and these are mostly aimed at mums. They are great and have been a good support, but it was nice to be around other dads who share my perspective and can relate more.”
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals with Blackpool Better Start wants to help fathers be the best dads they possibly can.
Community Engagement Officer Anthony Barrot said: “Father’s Day tomorrow also launches Father’s Week and our team will be out and about running sessions and raising the awareness of dads’ support.
“Blackpool Better Start supports dads like Imran on a weekly basis. Not only do we run groups aimed at bringing together like-minded dads and help give them the advice and confidence, but we also recruit dad role models who volunteer to provide one-to-one support.”
Any dads who feel they have experience and would make a good mentor to another dad should get in touch with Anthony by email. You could be a grandad, dad or male role model.