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Fathers and depression after the birth of their baby

fathers; dads; depression; post; natal;

When a baby comes along it can turn your world upside down.  It is wonderful and exciting to have a baby but also a lot of extra work.

  • Your relationship with your partner has changed and the routine you had before is now not possible.
  • You may feel inadequate about knowing how to care for the baby and support your partner. 
  • Getting enough sleep may be difficult for you and your partner and this can lead to tension. 
  • Your finances may be an issue now with only one income coming in and more expenses. 
  • If you were not sure that you really wanted a baby at this time you may be feeling left out. 
  • You may feel a great pressure to do lots at home and also do well at work.

Whatever you feel we know that you need support in becoming a father.

Where do you get your support from?  It is good to talk to family or friends about how you are going but most important is to talk with your partner.  Hopefully she will be your main support just the same as you are for her.

Some fathers may suffer depression after their baby is born.You will probably have highs and lows as a new father.  However we know that up to 10% of fathers are depressed after their baby is born, but often they do not seek help. Men often do not talk about their feelings, so they may not know that many other fathers are also depressed.

Resources and more about depression

Raising Children Network

Pregnancy, birth and baby

Beyondblue, the national depression initiative (Australia). 

Information in other languages

There is information in many languages on the website of the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service.
http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/  - search 'depression'.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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