USS Harry S. Truman Holds New Father Class

Story Number: NNS080515-24Release Date: 5/15/2008 4:48:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joshua Moore, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors participated in a "New Fathers Class" May 14, held in the ship's chiefs' mess.

The class is designed to teach male Sailors who have a newborn child at home important aspects of being a new father.

"The main priority of this class is to educate fathers on what to expect in each stage of development of their baby and how to take care of the child," said class instructor Faith Walker, of the Parent's Support Program, Fleet and Family Services, Naples, Italy. "It gives them the education they need to feel more like a part of the family, and it helps in cutting down the readjustment time greatly."

The class provided information meant to help the whole family by allowing the father to become more involved and take some of the parenting load off of the mother. Walker said by sharing the load, it will help reduce the overall stress level of the family.

The class covered all of the basics of caring for an infant such as feeding, bathing, changing diapers and how to care for the new baby should he or she become ill. Walker also discussed safety information with the class and explained the hazards of shaking a baby and how to remain calm and de-stress in a frustrating situation.

Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Clifford Anderson, a class participant and a new father, said he was grateful the class was offered because he now feels more prepared for his homecoming.

"The class was very useful because I know very little about raising children," said Anderson, who became a new father only three weeks ago. "We went over a lot of stuff that no one has ever talked to me about before."

The main objective was to give new fathers information so they feel more confident going home to a new situation. Walker explained it is sometimes a difficult transition to go from warfighting to raising a family, but the class is meant to ease that uncertainty as much as possible.

"The main purpose of my job is to increase readiness," Walker said. "If a dad can walk back into his house after a deployment and feel like he is a part of the family, and know that he could do that every time he deploys, then it reduces stress and allows him to better focus on his job."

Truman is committed to preparing Sailors for their return to homeport and will continue to bring guests aboard to help ease their transition.

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