When we hear of postnatal depression, how many of us automatically associate it with just mothers? Postnatal depression or paternal depression in fathers is now being recognised, but how many men that are struggling are getting the support they need?
There are no set reasons why some new Dads will develop paternal depression, but as having a baby is such a life changing, emotional event for both parents, its understandable why some Dads may experience it. The realisation and pressure of what being a Dad means, the financial responsibilities, concerns about both Mum and baby, the effects a newborn has on relationships, seeing their partners in a different way, sleepless nights, the worry of "getting it right", the list goes on.
Research from the NCT has shown that 1 in 10 Dads suffer from postnatal/paternal depression and that they are more likely to suffer 3-6 months after their baby is born. A survey of 2000 fathers by the Royal College of Nurses found that 64% had not been asked about their mental health during their partners pregnancy, surprising as a Dad's mental health is just as important as Mum's.
If you are a Dad that may be struggling or if you know someone that is, help is available. Please contact your GP for support or if you want to research further there are some good resources at www.nct.org.uk or www.dadsmatteruk.org