By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
EAST LIVERPOOL -- There are no push-ups or wind sprints here, but the men who will attend Saturday's boot camp at East Liverpool City Hospital are preparing for tasks they may consider far more challenging.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, soon-to-be dads will receive instruction in infant care from new fathers, with the help of their newborns, all under the watchful eyes of "drool sergeant" Dale Call.
Call, a surgical nurse, and his wife, Stacie, also a nurse and director of education, are coordinating the workshop for new dads.
Fred Miller, hospital community relations director, said the two have a 15-month-old child and are expecting a second child soon.
Reason: "Many men have never held a newborn, and it can be a frightening experience," Miller said. "Here they can not only learn to pick up and hold a real, squirming, crying baby, but also change their diapers, bathe and feed them."
Miller said the hospital will schedule the boot camp several times each year, and boot camp graduates will return with their babies to assist the next class.
About seven soon-to-be dads have signed up for Saturday's session, and others are welcome, Miller said. Participants may register by calling the hospital's education secretary at (330) 386-2670.
Miller said the boot camp will be of most benefit to men whose wives are in at least the third trimester of their pregnancies. Any expectant father, however, is welcome. The event is not limited to those who plan to deliver their babies at the East Liverpool hospital, he said.
"This is a man-to-man session," Miller stressed. "No wives. The guys can come here and not feel intimidated. Here they can ask all those questions they think are stupid and that they might be too embarrassed to ask elsewhere."
Miller said the boot camp for new dads is a syndicated program used at about 80 hospitals across the country, the other nearest one in Morgantown, W.Va.