Dads emotional health ; feel better by fathers day
Throughout pregnancy, all the focus of care is placed on mum and baby .
Dads are often the supportive partner, attending antenatal appointments (or feeling bad if works makes this impossible), picking up the extra workload to ensure mums are able to rest and feed their new baby.
We have been very aware of addressing maternal emotional wellbeing over the last decade, identifying mothers at risk of perinatal mood disorders. We know those mothers who may be more at risk and ensuring they are referred for follow-up with their GP and a psychologist or counselor
After the birth, health professionals again ensure mum is emotionally well by asking a series of questions.
BUT recently we are becoming aware of the forgotten soldiers of parenting .
Dads can also struggle with emotional changes related to becoming a parent
Those dads who are aware their partners struggle with anxiety or depression often devote a lot of time and energy into being the best possible support they can be during pregnancy
They become very aware that they need to help out physically around the house and ensure mum gets enough sleep
When everything settles down and they return to work, many dads will begin to display some symptoms of a perinatal mood disorder.
They may struggle with the fact that life has changed irreversibly.
The woman who only had eyes for him is naturally obsessed and in love with their new baby
She may not have the same energy to connect physically.
Men can often feel as though they have been pushed aside.
On one hand they may be very proud and protective of the new mum and baby bond but on the other they mourn the lifestyle left behind.
They now have to adapt to quiet nights in (maybe not so quiet if baby is unsettled) preparing meal and changing nappies
How to manage :
During this time new parents need to talk and be aware of the fact that both are experiencing change
They need to be kind to each other
They need assurance that life will never be the same but a new type of life with many more rewards will be around the corner as they delight in baby’s small but significant changes
If you would like to discuss your family’s emotional health please contact me www.myprivatemidwife.com.au