One father says the current system of parental leave from a job is supporting a traditional viewpoint, where the dad works and the mother stays at home.
Fathers have called for greater equality and engagement in their parenting role.
A new report found there needs to be more work to support a transition to fatherhood.
'Being Dad', from the Childhood Development Initiative, saw 11 fathers participate in the research.
Between them, the participants in the project had 16 children.
It found that a lack of supports for dads was a significant barrier.
They felt that resources, materials and support groups were directed towards mothers - rather than both parents.
While many felt that despite wanting to be actively involved, barriers still existed in interacting with health care professionals.
Phil Reynor is one of those who participated in the project.
He told Newstalk Breakfast: "It turned the focus in and made me think about those supports - I hadn't thought about them previously, and I hadn't thought about them going into it.
"It really made me look back and reflect on 'Were there any supports, was I encouraged to reach out for them and what was there'".
And he says he was not encouraged to look for such supports, which he says are few and far between.
"I don't think there's much there at all - it's more a case of you go along to the stuff that's for the mams, and you participate in that.
"And when you're in that space, it's about then struggling to be made part of that conversation that's being had - and not to be felt like your role is to stand to the side and listen, but to actually get involved and participate."
But he says one of the big issues is around parental leave.
"One of the main barriers, and it's something that perpetuates the kind of traditional norm - if you like - of the dad working and the mam at home.
"That would be the leave around working.
"At the time I had my first child, it was two weeks - and it's really a seismic change in your life, it's a huge change for both parents.
"For the dad, it's a case of 'you get your two weeks and then you have to fly back to work' and that's really what's expected of you.
"And then you're expected to juggle that really, really different life at home - with this new, amazing arrival into your house - with straight back to your normal work life.
"That really supports the traditional system, where the dad's working and the mam is at home.
"In that space, that's what that actually creates".