For Dads | Postpartum Support Center (2023)

Depression during pregnancy and early parenthood doesn’t just affect new moms –fathersare also at risk. If you have recently become a father, or are about to become, we haveinformation and resources to help you deal with stress and take care of yourself.

Any parent will tell you that raising kidsis the most fulfilling thing they have ever done - and the most demanding.They’ll probably also tell you that things can feel hardest at the beginning when it’s all new and while you are still figuring out how to change a diaper.

And while we all recognize how hard things can get for mothers, it’s important to cut yourself some slack and realize that fathersare in the thick of it too.

There will be times when you have no idea what to do. You won’t get much sleep. You’ll spend half your paycheckon diapers and a crib that takes you four hours and lots of swearing to assemble. And we are sure that even when you’re exhausted, broke and have no time for yourself, you wouldn’t change it for the world.

But if you’re finding your new father's life harder than you expected, you’re not the only one. It’s a tough gig – one that can feel chaotic and relentless at times.


Most people are aware thatdepression and anxiety may have aneffect on new mothers, but did you know that fathers are also at risk? Almost 50 percent of fathers aren’t aware of this fact.

And while anxiety during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby isn’t as well recognized as depression, we know it’s likely to be just as common among new parents.


Ask yourself how many of the following apply to you:

(Video) Rethinking Postpartum Care | Sara Reardon | TEDxLSU

  • Have you had depression and/or anxiety before?

  • Does your partner have postpartum depression and/or anxiety?

  • Do you have a lack of practical, emotional or social support?

  • Are you feeling the burden of financial stress?

  • Did you support your partner through a difficult birth?

  • Do you have current or past issues with drugs or alcohol?

  • Is your baby unwell?

  • Are you going through major life changes and/or relationship difficulties?

  • Are you finding the reality of parenting different from your expectations?

Other contributing factors can include:

  • not being able to bond with your baby

    (Video) Treatments for Postpartum Depression

  • attitudes towards fatherhood and masculinity – thinking you can’t talk about how you’re feeling or ask for support, or a fear that you’ll be seen as a ‘failure’ if you’re not coping

  • changes in your relationship with your partner, which can lead to feelings of resentment and exclusion

  • worries about extra responsibilities, financial burdens and managing the stress atwork.

Is your baby premature or unwell?

If your baby is premature or has health complications, they may need to spend time in the hospital. This can be an extremely distressing situation for any new parent and can increase your risk of developing postpartum mental health disorders. It’s important to look after your mental health. Make sure you take advantage of any support that’s offered and ask what else is available to help you.

The more you answered ‘yes’ to these questions and recognize these scenarios, the greater your risk of developing PPD/PPA.

This doesn’t mean you’ll automatically experience a mental health condition, but it’s important to keep an eye on your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. If you notice changes in yourself, or you’re experiencing some of the symptoms listed below, it’s time to seek support.


The signs and symptoms of perinatal mood disordersin new dads are broadly the same as those experienced at any other point in our lives. But because becoming a father represents such a big life change, there are also some feelings and responses that are unique to the new fathers’ situation.

Everyone’s experience is different, but if you’ve noticed more than a couple of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a new father close to you, it’s important to seek support.

PPD/PPA can sometimes be hard to spot in new fathers because of the overlap between symptoms and the general stress and exhaustion that comes with caring for a baby. It can be hard to know if what you’re feeling is ‘normal’ when your sense of normal has been completely blown apart.

(Video) Why we all need to talk about postpartum depression | Auburn Harrison | TEDxUniversityofNevada

That’s when it can be helpful to take a close look at how you’re feeling – about yourself, your partner, and your baby. If your thoughts and feelings are predominantly negative, this can be a sign that you’re experiencing PPD/PPA.

Many new fathers/partnersfeel they need to be their family’s ‘rock’. This can often mean shouldering the pressure that comes with being a father on their own, without any support from those around them.

You might think your partner has enough to deal with, and be reluctant to share your pain and stress with them. Or you might fear being seen as weak or that you’re somehow ‘failing’ in your new role as a father.

It’s not selfish to look after yourself. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do for your family. A happy, healthy fathers helpyour baby grow and your partner feels more supported.

Tips that could help

  • Remember the basics.Diet, exercise, and sleep are the building blocks of how you feel and are often overlooked when your life gets turned upside down by a baby. It’s hard to feel like you’re on top of life when these three things aren’t going right.

  • Get creative about how you find the time.Can you catch up on sleep while a friend or grandparent takes the baby out? Can you exercise during lunch at work? Can you prepare your weekly meals on the weekend so you’re planning to eat well?

  • Stay involved.It’s tempting to withdraw when stress is building up at home, but try and stay involved. Supporting your partner and staying hands-on with your baby can make you feel good about yourself, and starts a cycle of positive interactions that build your confidence and appreciation amongst your family.

  • Don’t forget you’re still a couple.How are you nurturing your relationship with your partner? Spend quality time together (at least a couple of hours once a week) and debrief every night about how you’ve each found the day (even if it’s only 10 minutes).

  • Check your mindset.It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a new parent but you're not expected to know everything. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to learn as you go. This helps put any mistakes in perspective, and it’s also a great way to start teaching your child about the right mindset to adopt when tackling problems.

    (Video) A day in my life at Postpartum Care Center in Korea | First meal & bath| Funny moments

  • Connect with other fathers.Talking with other fathers who ‘get it’ and are, or have been, going through the same struggles can make you feel less alone. This could be as simple as talking to another father/partner at work, or there are groups just for men to help with adjusting to fatherhood.

  • Listen to your self-talk.What you say to yourself in your head plays a big part in how you feel about yourself and your life. Pay attention when you start thinking in black and white ways – “I’m not a good dad”, “I never do anything right” for example. Notice what you’re saying to yourself and thinking each day, decide whether this is a helpful or unhelpful way for you to think, and focus on steering your self-talk in a more positive direction.

  • Focus on your strengths.When you’re in a negative spiral, it can help to identify and write down 3-5 things you did well each day – no matter how small they might seem.

  • Watch your drinking.Coping with stress by drinking more works at the moment, but blotting things out with alcohol often just compounds the issues you’re avoiding overtime. Plus, trying to care for a baby with a thumping hangover really is the worst.

If you’re really struggling…

Just like your physical health, sometimes your mental health needs a bit of extra care and attention.

Tune in to how you’re feeling and how this is impacting on your life. Find someone you can talk to honestly about how your new role is affecting you – this may be your partner, friend, family member, or a counselor.

It’s OK to ask for support – you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. And if a belief that you should be able to handle things by yourself is stopping you from reaching out, it’s time to ask yourself – honestly – if this approach is working for you, or whether you need to share the load a bit.

This might mean getting more practical help from the extended family, contacting a professional for advice on a sleeping or feeding issue, or talking with your employer about work demands.


What is PSI therapy? ›

PSIP is a comprehensive psychedelic assisted therapy model where the therapist is an active participant in the client's psychedelic session which keeps the process in the human relational realm.

Can dads get PPA? ›

Approximately one in 10 new dads has PPA or PPD. When people exhibit OCD symptoms after becoming a parent, it's known as postpartum OCD. Postpartum OCD falls under the umbrella of postpartum anxiety (PPA), one of many mental health issues that can afflict new parents.

How can dad help with postpartum? ›

Reassure her: this is not her fault; she is not alone; she will get better. Encourage her to talk about her feelings and listen without judgment. Help with housework before she asks you. Encourage her to take time for herself.

What are fathers emotions during pregnancy? ›

Some men feel resentful or frustrated, and then feel guilty about having those negative feelings. These are normal emotions. It may help to share them with others who have “been there.” You'll be surprised to learn that your feelings are pretty common. You'll find yourself gradually adapting to the “dad” role.

What is somatic release therapy? ›

Somatic therapy, also known as somatic experiencing therapy, is a therapy that aims to treat PTSD and other mental and emotional health issues through the connection of mind and body. This body-centric approach works by helping to release stress, tension, and trauma from the body.

How does emotional release therapy work? ›

Using ERT to trigger specific acupuncture/acupressure points along with spinal manipulation while thinking of the memory resets the chemical release in the brain. The result is the disappearance of the negative emotion linked to that situation or memory.

Can PPA be done at home? ›

Teachers may decide where to take their PPA time within the school. Teachers wishing to take PPA time off the school premises can only do so if this is authorised by the Headteacher.

How much PPA do you get? ›

You are entitled to a minimum of 10% of timetabled teaching time for PPA as part of your hours of directed time. This should be clearly identified on your timetable in blocks that are not less than half an hour. In most cases, classroom teachers are allocated a minimum of 10% of timetabled teaching time for PPA.

Does every man with kids qualify as a father? ›

It comes with a lot of responsibilities though. But I always say that it is not every man who has the capacity to give birth to a son or daughter that is a father. A father is that man who has children and lives up to his responsibilities; he deserves to be called a father. To be called a father is an honourable title.

How a husband should treat his wife after delivery? ›

Spend as much time with your baby as possible. If your work schedule isn't as flexible, be hands on over the weekend. If you have older children, help to look after them so your wife can focus on your newborn. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared to learn everything that your wife does,” she says.

Do men struggle with postpartum? ›

Occurring in approximately 8 to 10 percent of fathers, PPD has the highest prevalence within 3 to 6 months postpartum but might insidiously develop over a year rather than four weeks postpartum. Additionally, irritability, indecisiveness, and restricted range of emotion might be observed more frequently in men.

How do I cope with my wife after having a baby? ›

Here's how you can best support a partner after pregnancy — and take care of yourself while entering this new phase of parenthood.
  1. Create a new "normal" ...
  2. Get used to a lack of sleep. ...
  3. Keep an eye on her mood. ...
  4. Be good to yourself. ...
  5. Be good to her. ...
  6. Divide and conquer. ...
  7. Be patient when it comes to sex. ...
  8. Talk it out.
Nov 5, 2021

Which gender is more emotional during pregnancy? ›

One myth suggests that pregnant women who do not experience mood swings are carrying boys, while those who do experience noticeable changes in mood are carrying girls. The truth is that most women will have mood swings during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters.

Is pregnancy hard on the father? ›

It's nothing compared to what her body goes through—but men experience hormonal changes when their partners are pregnant, finds a new University of Michigan study. Researchers tested the hormone levels of first-time fathers-to-be and found that their testosterone dropped as the baby grew.

Can babies sense dads stress? ›

Studies have shown that infants as young as one month-old sense when a parent is depressed or angry and are affected by the parent's mood. Understanding that even infants are affected by adult emotions can help parents do their best in supporting their child's healthy development.

Where is trauma stored in the body? ›

Ever since people's responses to overwhelming experiences have been systematically explored, researchers have noted that a trauma is stored in somatic memory and expressed as changes in the biological stress response.

Does a somatic therapist touch you? ›

Somatic therapy is a type of therapy that connects the mind and body through touch or movement.

What are physical signs your body is releasing trauma? ›

Some may have a fight-or-flight type of response, which may include muscle tension, heart pounding and sweating because their body "believes it needs to activate," she explains. Others maybe experience a freeze response, which can look like someone who struggles to move or get out of bed.

Where is shame held in the body? ›

Shame is connected to processes that occur within the limbic system, the emotion center of the brain. When something shameful happens, your brain reacts to this stimulus by sending signals to the rest of your body that lead you to feel frozen in place.

Does crying help release trauma? ›

It won't rid you of PTSD and your fears, but let your tears flow and you'll maybe feel a little better afterwards. 'Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain.

Is there a test for PPA? ›

Blood tests

Genetic tests can determine if you have genetic mutations associated with primary progressive aphasia or other neurological conditions.

When should PPA be taken? ›

PPA Time should NOT be for any directed activity

You cannot be directed to use PPA time for any particular purpose. It should be used exclusively for the planning, preparation and assessment that you, as a professional, deem necessary for your work.

Who should plan PPA? ›

Support staff such as higher-level teaching assistants can plan and deliver cover lessons. They should also be given time to plan for the lessons they deliver.

Is PPA a good deal? ›

A solar power purchasing agreement (PPA) is a great way to get a solar panel system without having to buy one outright. They're popular at both the residential and commercial level, helping homeowners and businesses alike access solar power.

How many hours is PPA? ›

All teachers are entitled to a minimum of 10 per cent of their regular teaching hours as PPA time. For most full-time teachers, this works out at about 2.5 hours per week.

How do you negotiate a PPA? ›

9 considerations for negotiating a PPA
  1. Price indexation.
  2. Generating technology and curtailment.
  3. Ownership of wholesale market revenue.
  4. Calculation of peak charges.
  5. Metering.
  6. Commercial operation date (COD)
  7. Onsite PPAs & treatment of utility tariff rates and changes.
  8. Onsite PPAs & construction costs.
Sep 15, 2022

What is the best age for a man to have his first child? ›

However, the number and quality of the sperm declines with your age. From a biological standpoint, experts recommend a man is best suited to fatherhood from his late 20s to early 30s. It is still possible for men to father a child in their 50s and older.

What is a father entitled to? ›

Based on this a married fathers rights over a child include the rights to make decisions concerning the legal matters, as well as educational, health and welfare and religious matters. A father's rights over a child will also require him to provide food, clothes and shelter for his child.

Can a child have 2 different fathers? ›

Although this is quite rare it can happen and it's called superfetation. Two babies are conceived from separate acts in two different cycles. These babies can be from the same father or two different men. When heteropaternal superfecundation occurs, the babies are from different fathers.

How do you pleasure a man after giving birth? ›

Tips for rebuilding intimacy in the bedroom
  1. Spend time together without the baby. This can be more of a challenge when you're new parents, but it's still important. ...
  2. Compliment your partner. ...
  3. Get plenty of rest. ...
  4. Touch the non-erotic parts of the body. ...
  5. Talk to your partner. ...
  6. Talk to your health care provider.
Jun 13, 2022

How can I make my wife happy at night? ›

Ask her what she wants to do in the bedroom. Mix things up by trying something new and exciting to make her happy. Tell her often how much you enjoy being sexually intimate with her. Let her know that you are having the best sex of your life with her.

Is marriage harder after a baby? ›

A staggering 67% of couples in the study reported a decline in relationship satisfaction after the arrival of the first baby. The decline typically shows up between six months (for women) and nine months (for men) after the baby comes home.

Why do men change after you have a baby? ›

Dads experience hormonal changes, too

Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding all cause hormonal changes in mothers. However, researchers have found that men also undergo hormonal changes when they become fathers. Contact with the mother and children seem to induce the hormonal changes in dads, the researchers said.

Is childbirth traumatic for men? ›

Men can experience a range of mental health problems following the birth of a child, with one in 10 dads experiencing postnatal anxiety and/or depression. Ignoring the signs that something is wrong can have an impact not only on the individual but on the wellbeing of children and their relationship with their partner.

What does postpartum look like in men? ›

Prenatal and postpartum depression can look different in men than it does in women. Men may experience some “traditional” symptoms – fatigue and changes in sleep or appetite – but they often exhibit fewer outwardly emotional expressions, such as crying.

Why most couples break up after having a baby? ›

It's a lot harder to go out together and enjoy the things you used to do. If you have a partner, they may feel left out, and you may resent what you see as a lack of support. But the stage when babies and children take up all your physical and emotional energy doesn't last forever.

Why am I so angry at my husband after having a baby? ›

Between hormones, physical discomfort after birth, and a complete upheaval of your daily routine, it's perfectly normal to feel resentful of a partner who gets to walk about pain-free without breastmilk-stained shirts or a child clinging to his body.

How husbands change after baby? ›

The physical side of a relationship can also change dramatically — thanks to exhaustion, dealing with the physical and emotional impact of the birth, and the demands of life with a newborn. It can take time to feel like having sex again after birth .

What happens when mother cries during pregnancy? ›

Can crying and depression affect an unborn baby? Having an occasional crying spell isn't likely to harm your unborn baby. More severe depression during pregnancy, however, could possibly have a negative impact on your pregnancy.

Why are smells so strong during pregnancy? ›

What causes heightened sense of smell during pregnancy? As with so many pregnancy symptoms, when it comes to your keener sense of smell, you can once again blame those pregnancy hormones. In this case, estrogen can make every little scent that wafts your way feel like an all-out assault on your nostrils.

Who has high HCG levels girl or boy? ›

BACKGROUND: Maternal serum HCG (MSHCG) is higher when the fetus is a female than when it is male. This has been demonstrated in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and recently at 10–14 weeks gestation.

How do men feel during pregnancy? ›

It's not just pregnant women who experience pregnancy mood swings. Many men also experience emotional changes during pregnancy, such as moodiness and depression. These symptoms may be linked to their worries about losing their partner's love and affection once the baby is born.

Who has more right on baby mother or father? ›

In case of a minor child, both the parents have an equal right over the child after divorce. If there is no mutual consent, the family courts decide who gets to keep the child and take his/her major life decisions.

How Do dads feel when their baby is born? ›

Dads experience overwhelming emotions when their child is born but don't exactly feel warm and fuzzy at first. Fathers often don't have the same love-at-first-sight experience with their babies as mothers do, in part because they don't have the same experience of pregnancy.

Can babies get mad at you? ›

When infants display anger and aggression, it is often due to discomfort, pain or frustration. Older babies will use aggression to protect themselves, to express anger or to get what they want. When your baby is aggressive, it is because he has not learned a better way of behaving.

Do babies get attached to dad? ›

While a baby's first attachment is usually with their mother, the bonds that babies form with their fathers are just as important. Though babies form attachment relationships with other adults who care for them, the bonds with their parents are the most important ones.

Can my baby tell when I'm crying? ›

You and Your Baby's Emotional Connection

Research has shown that, during pregnancy, your baby feels what you feel—and with the same intensity. That means if you're crying, your baby feels the same emotion, as if it's their own.

What is PSI What is it used for? ›

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a common unit of pressure used in many different pressure measuring applications. It's typically used for non-SI industrial and technical purposes such as tire pressure, fuel storage & distribution, waste water management, and test & measurement activities, among many others.

What does PSI stand for in psychology? ›

n. 1. the Greek letter ψ, often used to symbolize psychology. 2. the phenomena or alleged phenomena studied in parapsychology, including extrasensory perception, precognition, and psychokinesis.

Why is PSI used for psychology? ›

The symbol for psychology represents the penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, psi, which is also the first letter of the Greek word psuche, meaning mind or soul, from which the term psyche arose; which in turn gave us the name of the discipline psychology which is most commonly defined as study of the mind.

What does PSI mean in health? ›

Background. Personal activity intelligence (PAI) is a single physical activity metric based upon heart rate responses to physical activity. Maintaining 100 PAI/week is associated with a 25% risk reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality and 50 PAI/week provides 60% of the benefits.

What are examples of PSI? ›

For example, a bicycle tire pumped up to 65 psig in a local atmospheric pressure at sea level (14.7 psi) will have a pressure of 79.7 psia (14.7 psi + 65 psi). When gauge pressure is referenced to something other than ambient atmospheric pressure, then the unit would be pound per square inch differential (psid).

What PSI should I use? ›

On newer cars, the recommended tire pressure is most commonly listed on a sticker inside the driver's door. If there's no sticker on the door, you can usually find the specs in the owner's manual. Most passenger cars will recommend 32 psi to 35 psi in the tires when they're cold.

What is the recommended PSI? ›

35 PSI,' for example, indicates the maximum pounds per square inch pressure needed for your tire to support the weight of its maximum load-carrying capacity. For everyday use, most passenger cars will have a recommended or optimum pressure of 30 or 32 PSI.

What is the meaning of butterfly in psychology? ›

the tendency of a complex, dynamic system to be sensitive to initial conditions, so that over time a small cause may have large, unpredictable effects (see sensitive dependence).

Why is it called PSI? ›

PSI definition: PSI is a unit of pressure expressed in pounds of force per square inch of area. It stands for Pounds per Square Inch.

What is PSI screening? ›

a quick screening device used to identify persons who should receive a more extensive mental health evaluation. Designed to be completed in about 15 minutes, the PSI contains 130 true–false items across five scales.

Is psi a measure of stress? ›

Description / Purpose: The Parenting Stress Index (PSI) is used to measure the relative stress in the parent-child relationship. Child characteristics in the full scale include: Distractibility/Hyperactivity, Adaptability, Reinforces Parent, Demandingness, Mood, and Acceptability.

What are the main uses of psychological testing? ›

What are the Uses of Psychological Diagnostic Testing?
  • Help diagnose mental illness.
  • Collect information about mental abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Create a treatment plan.
  • Assess personality, intelligence, and neuropsychological functioning.
  • Determine whether a patient is eligible for a specific treatment.

What are the 4 goals of psychology? ›

To sum up, psychology is centered on four major goals: to describe, explain, predict, and change or control behaviors. These goals are the foundation of most theories and studies in an attempt to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes that people face in their daily lives.

What is a hospital PSI? ›

Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs), developed by the federally operated Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), are specifically intended to measure the occurrence rate of potentially preventable complications or adverse events that patients experience during their hospital stays.

What does PSI stand for in social work? ›

Personalized Supports Initiative (PSI)

What does PSI stand for in special education? ›

Using PSI (The Personalized System of Instruction) for Active Learning.


1. The Truth About Postpartum Depression | When The Bough Breaks (Full Documentary) | Real Families
(Real Families)
2. Postpartum depression: Mom stories
3. CBT for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
(Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT))
4. Postpartum Care - Comprehensive Care Center for Multiples - Brigham and Women’s Hospital
(Brigham And Women's Hospital)
5. Postpartum Psychosis Victim and Husband-Gabby and Sam
(Soft White Underbelly)
6. How Long Will You Have Postpartum Depression? | HealthyPlace
(HealthyPlace Mental Health)


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