In 2015, Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a survey of more than 900 expectant fathers and found that a third of them had no one to turn to for support or fathering advice. Keegan Albaugh of Burlington wanted to change that.
“That transition from having no kids to having kids is such a huge transition and its really easy for fathers to become socially isolated,” said Albaugh.
When Keegan Albaugh had his first child in 2016, he found there were many groups to support mothers, but that was not the case for fathers. So, Albaugh started Dad Guild, a nonprofit organization with a mission to support fathers through connection, education, and community engagement.
” I think men in particular, are not always comfortable with talking about their emotions and how they are experiencing things. So, I just thought it was a really important opportunity to make sure that dads did have a place to go,” said Keegan.
Albaugh said the group has been even more helpful during the pandemic. Typically, the dads would meet up in person, but recently they have been connecting virtually and sharing videos.
“It’s more important now more than ever I think to have a network of people that you can turn too,” said Albaugh.
For Chris Whitaker, Dad Guild was the support he needed when his newborn baby was born in July during the pandemic.
“Dad guild was amazing because ya know, we were still in the hospital and one of the dads brought us in coffee for us and for all the nurses and doctors,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker said being a part of Dad Guild has been an eye-opening experience. “My experience with dad guild was the first time that i heard another male tell me about how they go to therapy or how they talk out their issues.”
Keegan Albaugh says right now they have around 300 dads in the Burlington area apart of the group, but he hopes to get some funding and expand throughout the state.