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First-time fathers learn ABCs of parenting at dads-only class

Monday, June 13, 2016

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If Pediatrician Ben Kornfeld, M.D., gets his wish, first-time dads will take a break from painting the nursery or assembling the crib to attend Northwest Community Healthcare’s Dads Class.

“My goal is to help dads become more actively involved in their children’s lives,” says Dr. Kornfeld, a member of the NCH Medical Staff with North Suburban Pediatrics. “In just two hours, we cover a lot of ground and create a safe space for lively conversation,” he says.

The cost of the class is $25, which includes a book and assorted handouts. The next Dads Class will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, at the NCH Wellness Center on the hospital campus in Arlington Heights. Register online or by calling Health Connection, 847-618-4968.

The Dads class is based loosely on the Boot Camp for New Dads curriculum and covers five main topics:

  • Experience with your father or a father figure
  • Caring for your partner
  • Working out and defining your protector role
  • Working as a team
  • Caring for your baby

“My job is to remind dads of their important role,” Dr. Kornfeld says. “Sometimes, first-time dads may be shy or embarrassed to admit to their partner that they are unsure of themselves. But during our class, no question is silly or embarrassing!”

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Jon Seidel, Mount Prospect resident and father of five-month old Sydney, attended the class in October. “Fathers-to-be have real anxieties about the changes about to take place,” he says. “I enjoyed gathering with a group of new dads to hear their concerns, experiences and advice on parenthood.”

Seidel also appreciates the practical advice that was shared during the class – from feeding a baby on a budget to tips for storing milk. “Not only does the class offer great camaraderie and advice geared specifically toward new fathers, my wife and I found a great pediatrician – Dr. Kornfeld – by signing up,” he says. “It's a great opportunity to meet some of the medical professionals you might be working with in the future.”

Any first-time dad in the area is welcome to attend the class at NCH. It doesn’t matter where or when their partner is delivering or who the child’s pediatrician is. The class typically ranges from five to eight participants.

As the young father of two children, Dr. Kornfeld is an ideal instructor for this class. “I love teaching, and I became a pediatrician because I fell in love with the relationship that pediatricians build with parents and patients,” he says. “Of course, becoming a father taught me a lot more about parenting than being a pediatrician – nothing can replace ‘on-the-job’ training!”

Physicians
  • Benjamin Kornfeld

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