Support groups for mothers have been around, in some form or other, forever - whether it involved a close-knit community, family members, mother and baby groups or, in recent years, online chat rooms and websites.
These have always been essential as, for the most part, women have traditionally looked after the lion's share of parenting.
But times have changed and more and more fathers are getting in on the act, wanting to spend more time with their children, knowing that their role is equally vital and enjoying the tasks and the fun that many of their fathers and grandparents knew little of.
There is now an array of books, websites, forums and even apps offering advice and support for fathers. Dad AF founder Lee Downes has seen such an interest in the app he developed in 2018 that this month he will be launching Channel Dad on YouTube to offer help and support to dads as well as a bit of banter with others in the same situation.
Paul McCaw thinks this is a great idea as with three children of his own - Eva (18) and five-year-old twins Alex and Lewis - he is very hands on.
"The role of being a father has changed - as for my dad it was very much the 'father works and takes home the bread' set-up," says the 44-year-old. "Nowadays with mums working too, dads have a responsibility to help with domestic stuff and make sure it all gets done. It's not like before where the wife stayed at home and did everything before dad arrived home from work.
"Usually I arrive home with the boys and Carla (my wife) arrives after us. I will have the heating on, the boys settled, the dishes done and anything else that needs doing before she gets home. It's about teamwork, with responsibility for both parents to keep homelife ticking over."
Paul, who lives in Finaghy and runs Subbytech, a mobile phone accessories business, says online support has always been important to him.
"I'm fortunate to be heavily involved with an online Dads of Diabetes group as Lewis has type 1 Diabetes and this has been a massive upheaval for the family," he says. "Everything we do is dominated by his medical needs and I'm able to contact any of the lads on there, at any time of day or night, knowing that someone will be able to help me with any question. Or even just to reply to a post I make if I've had a bad day and just want to vent to get things off my chest.
"It's not all about Diabetes either, but a group which understands what it's like when your life revolves around getting up at 2am every day to check blood levels so that your son doesn't end up hospitalised. And I know I'm fortunate to have this support network, which others aren't able to access."
Paul believes that having a support group is essential as with gender equality becoming more prevalent, the 'traditional role of the breadwinner is becoming buried' and some men feel lost.
"There is an inherent desire in men and dads to be the 'protector', the man of the house and the shield for the family," he says. "In my opinion, it's a naturally instinctive male trait, garnered over hundreds and thousands of years and I think that many modern men can feel a bit lost, given that this 'provider' role has diminished and is now viewed as almost archaic. Men who ask for help are viewed still as being 'weak' and this conflicts with the role of 'the man of the house'.
"But it's okay to say 'I feel like s*** and need a bit of banter' - and "men only" groups can do this. Guys can talk without fear of being labelled as weak or lacking in any way. However, try suggesting that a group is "just for men" and you usually have the "equality police" up in arms - that's a debate for another time though."
But having a daughter and two sons, the father-of-three is aware both of the need for equality and the difference between the genders.
"Having a daughter and then two sons, has proved to be very different in how I raised them," he says. "Eva was a Daddy's girl and with only one child to look after there was plenty of time for reading and bedtime stories, so this allowed her to develop a really good vocabulary, so she was always ahead of her year group for reading and literature. And I had got used to gentle toys, such as prams and dolls, around the house.
"Then the twins arrived when I was older and a bit wiser (40) and this was the hardest thing I've ever been through. Twins, contrary to popular belief, don't actually sleep or take milk at the same time - that would be far too easy - instead it was relentless and almost broke me in that first year.
"The household changed from memories of prams, dolls and make-up, to cars, lorries, trucks, train sets and play wrestling. The opposite ends of the spectrum for raising kids and I was fortunate to have experienced both aspects. I was at a slight advantage as I'd been through the changing nappies, bottle feeding and teething stage with Eva, whereas Carla (his second wife) was a new mum and was learning as she went. This proved handy if she got stressed about certain things as I'd been through it before, so was less concerned."
Still learning the ropes, Kurt Creelman is a relatively new dad as his daughter Emily is just over two-and-a-half years old. He lives with his wife Vicki in Antrim and says while he does have worries and concerns about his little girl, he is lucky that he has the support of family members.
"The most enjoyable part of being a dad is watching my daughter become a little person with her own personality," he says. "But I do worry about the lack of interaction she has with other children as she doesn't go to childcare and with Covid there are no play groups for her to meet other kids. I worry this will affect her in later life and she won't know how to interact with people she doesn't know.
"I also worry that she won't get a good education as Covid has played a big part in schools closing for months on end. But I have never used any online groups for advice as I have always been able to ask my older brother or sister, who have both been a great support."
But despite his angst, the 34-year-old data centre specialist says the relationship children now have with their dads has definitely improved.
"I do believe the roles of fathers has changed and for the better," he says. "Years ago, fathers would go to work and come home and maybe spend a few hours (with their kids) at the weekend and that was it. Now dads take their children to clubs in the evening and join in with the activities [when not under restrictions]. There is more chance of spending quality time with them and children seem to be able to speak to and confide in their fathers more than they would have in the past."
Wayne Sloan is in agreement and although his first baby is not due to arrive until the end of this month, he is really looking forward to the experience.
"We are expecting our baby at the end of January and I am very nervous about all the usual things to do with childbirth, such as the welfare of my wife (Nicole) and baby and also the element that Covid brings into it," says the 32-year-old scientific researcher.
"I won't be allowed the same access as I would have been pre-Covid, so can only be with Nicole once she is well into labour, which is very frustrating as I want to support her throughout the entire process. And then I will be asked to leave about an hour after the birth and not seem them again until they are ready for home.
"But I can't wait to have them home and spend some quality time with them. My work pattern is four weeks on and four weeks off, so it will be very difficult leaving them for the first time and being away for a month."
Wayne, who is from Co Down, says although the traditional role of fatherhood hasn't changed that much from previous generations, dads today are definitely more involved.
"I wouldn't say that the dad's role has changed as such as I still feel that it is very much a father's job to provide the best he can for his wife and family," he says. "But I do believe that fathers now want to take a more hands-on approach with their children and help their wives more around the home.
"However, I do think that there seems to be more support for mums rather than for dads. But I feel that if I had any concerns and shared them with my wife, I'm sure she could find out the information from the mum support groups.
"And I also have a few close friends who have had children already and I think I could ask them for help and advice if I needed it."