According to data released by the National Childbirth Trust, a growing number of men are suffering with postnatal depression. Already affecting 70,000 women across the UK, the disorder is now taking hold of one in three men as well.
It is thought that the extra emotional and financial responsibility coupled with a lack of sleep and having more to do at home all plays a part in affecting a new parent’s mental wellbeing. It has always been hard to get an accurate portrayal of the number of men who are suffering however because they are much more likely to bottle up depression and anxiety than women are.
The study also revealed that nearly three-quarters of dads worry about their partner’s mental health which has resulted in experts emphasising that health professionals need to support families as a whole. It has also been highlighted that the quicker help is received, the quicker the recovery will be.
Amongst the men who have suffered from postnatal depression, a common opinion is that all the focus is on the mother and child during pregnancy and birth and that the dad’s mental wellbeing is ignored.
Dr Sarah McCullen, NCT Head of Research, commented:
“Dads sometimes feel uncomfortable opening up about their feelings but we would encourage them to do so and seek the support they need. We recognise the huge impact having a baby can have on dads as well as mums - raising awareness of the specific concerns and questions of dad-to-be or new dads is crucial.”
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with postnatal depression, please feel free to visit our Postnatal Depression Centre for more information about the signs, symptoms, treatments and tips on dealing with the condition. You can also contact us for help.