healthychildprogramme

Fathers and depression

We know that about one in 10 women can be affected by postnatal depression. New fathers can also develop depression in the antenatal or post natal period. This is not uncommon but can often come on more slowly than in women.

We know that younger men and families with low incomes are more vulnerable to depression. If your partner is depressed you are also more likely to suffer from depression.

No one can be sure why this happens but life changing events can trigger these emotions. We also know that if you have previously suffered from depression or emotional issues, you will be more at risk of developing depression.

What can you do about it?
  • Admit there is something not right. This is the first step to getting better.
  • Talk to your partner, a trusted friend or other family member about how you are feeling.
  • See your GP to discuss how you feel and treatment options available.
  • Develop helpful self-help measures such as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Try and avoid or cut down on alcohol as this can lead to more depression.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of being a new father.
  • Get plenty of rest. Ask family and friends for practical help if needed.
  • Share parenting with your partner. Support each other.
  • Seek local support groups or websites that can help. Your local Children’s Centre may have a group for new fathers. Sharing being a new dad with other dads can help.
  • Talk to your Health Visitor.

Try and maintain hobbies and interests where possible, allowing for the changes in demands on your time now.

Please explore the following sections for more information:

Becoming a father is a life changing event. Try to attend antenatal classes if at all possible to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead!

  • You now have another person’s needs to consider. You may feel proud and fulfilled to become a father
  • You may feel your partner has less time for you and is focused only on meeting the baby’s needs
  • You are experiencing feelings you didn’t expect. Feelings of overwhelming love and the need to protect your new baby and your partner
  • Feeling tired and new priorities in life
  • Perhaps financial hardship due to loss of an income and cost of caring for a baby. This can cause more stress and anxiety for the family
  • Family and friends visiting more often to see the baby, or perhaps feeling isolated if family live far away
  • Your partner may be struggling in similar ways to adapt to motherhood. She may become tearful and low at times – needing more emotional support
  • Mixed feelings and emotions are very normal following the birth of a baby

New fathers can develop depression in the antenatal or postnatal period and this is not uncommon. Younger men and families with low incomes may be more vulnerable to depression. If your partner is depressed you are also more likely to suffer from depression.

No one can be sure why this happens, but life changing events can trigger these emotions. It is also known that if you have previously suffered from depression or emotional issues you will be more at risk of developing depression.

What can you do about it?
  • Admit there is something not right, this is the first step to getting better.
  • Talk to your partner, a trusted friend or other family member about how you are feeling.
  • See your GP to discuss how you feel and treatment options available.
  • Self-help measures such as a healthy diet and regular exercise can be beneficial. Try to cut down on alcohol or avoid completely as this can lead to further depression.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of being a new father.
  • Get plenty of rest. Ask family and friends for practical help if needed.
  • Share parenting with your partner. Support each other.
  • Seek local support groups or websites that can help. Your local children’s centre may have a group for new fathers. Sharing being a new dad with other dads can help.
  • Talk to your Health Visitor.
  • Try and maintain hobbies and interests where possible, allowing for the changes in demands on your time now
Other organisations and sources of help and information

Netmums

National Childbirth Trust

Pandas Foundation

Helpline: 08432898401

Your Health Visitor/GP

Babies Aloud DVD, available on Amazon. Marce Society. Focuses on Fathers and Post natal depression.

MIND

Fatherhood Institute

Supporting your partner with postnatal depression.

  • Living with a partner suffering from postnatal depression can be very challenging. Understanding more about the condition will help you cope and understand that it is not anyone’s fault, it is very common and it will get better with the right help and support.
  • Ensure your partner is well supported and has help from yourself, family and friends to ease the pressure. This can be help with housework, shopping or caring for the baby if she needs some time to herself. Some new mothers prefer not to be separated from their baby at all. Talk to your partner about the best support for her. Everyone is different.
  • Ensure your partner receives professional support and help. Talk to your health visitor if you are concerned. Seek advice from your GP. There are many agencies and people who can support you both.
  • Ensure your partner is able to meet her own needs effectively, that she eats a healthy diet, gets enough rest, is able to enjoy hobbies or interests as much as possible.
  • When she is ready encourage her to visit the local children’s centre to meet with other mothers with young babies. They may even have groups for mothers who are feeling low and can support each other. This reduces isolation and can support recovery.

Other organisations and sources of help and information

Netmums

National Childbirth Trust

Pandas Foundation

Helpline: 08432898401

Your Health Visitor/GP

Babies Aloud DVD, available on Amazon. Marce Society. Focuses on Fathers and Post natal depression.

MIND

Fatherhood Institute

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