New dads concerned about their mental health

Increased pressures of fatherhood, more financial responsibility, changes in lifestyle and lack of sleep affect a new dad's mental wellbeing

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A new study has found that more than 1 in 3 new fathers are concerned about their mental health. The new research from NCT says that postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues can be experienced by new dads as well as mums, with some men finding it not so easy dealing with the financial impact of the new arrival, as well as sleep deprivation and general changes to their life.

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73% of dads also said they were worried about their partner’s mental health.

“There are all sorts of reasons why men suffer mental health problems after the birth of a child,” Mark Williams, founder of education and support group Dads Matter UK, said. “Some suffer from postnatal depression themselves whilst others get downcast because their partners have mental health troubles. I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after seeing my wife’s distressing birth.”

The NCT recommends that new dads share their feelings with people they trust – this could be family or friends, a health professional or a counsellor. They also suggest dads take some time for themselves by maintaining involvement in hobbies, exercise, or social activities – even an hour can make a difference.

If feelings of anxiety or low mood persist, it’s best to seek help from your GP.

More information is available at: www.nct.org.uk/dads-PND

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