Emotional support for new dads

  As strange as it sounds, your most important job as a new dad is to look after yourself.

A partner's pregnancy and early parenthood can be an exciting time but it also brings new responsibilities and unexpected challenges along the way, such as traumatic birth or a baby with health problems.

As a dad, you may be unprepared for the changes a baby can have on your life, such as sleep deprivation, less time to spend with mates and reduced quality time with your partner.

Having a baby can even bring up long unresolved issues from the past that bubble to the surface with all new emotion of becoming a parent.

In addition, new dads can sometimes feel added pressure to be the 'provider' for the new family.

This can result in consistently feeling sad, numb, withdrawn in the weeks and months after the birth of your baby and are good reasons to seek help via GP referral to St John of God Raphael Services.

Finding the words to ask for help

Postnatal depression and anxiety in new dads are more common than you think, with current statistics showing one in 10 have difficulty coping after their partner has a baby.

It can be really hard for anyone, but sometimes especially for men to ask for help. While you might be worried that people may think you aren't coping, seeking support if you are struggling is a sign of strength - of taking action so these feelings don't get in the way of development of a strong, lifelong bond between you and your child.

Finding the words to explain how you feel and learning some strategies to deal with them is the first step.

How we can help you

Our support services can assist and benefit you in a number of ways:

  • by helping you understand your symptoms and feel more in control
  • through holistic, patient-centred therapies to treat perinatal depression and anxiety in men as well as women
  • by equipping you and your family with the tools you need to strengthen your relationships and return to an active, healthy and rewarding life.

These benefits depend on your particular circumstances and require you to fully participate in necessary care and management. You should consult a specialist in this area before deciding whether treatment is suitable for you. 

Ready to take the next step

Getting help early is the key to bonding well with your baby and moving towards a more enjoyable and fulfilling parenting experience. The first step is to see your GP who can develop a Mental Health Care Plan and refer you to  the service closest to you.

St John of God Raphael Services provides free or no out-of-pocket personalised counselling and support for mums, dads and families through the emotional challenges of pregnancy and early parenthood. As part of our comprehensive assessment we talk to clients about their current and past mental health.