Partners & Families

Partners – and other family members – may need additional support during the adjustment period after a baby is born.  If the mother is experiencing anxiety or depression, the entire family is affected.  Pregnancy and postpartum mental health is a family issue.  Dads, partners, and other helpers need support, information, and connection too.

Partners can also feel depressed or anxious after the birth or adoption of a child.  In fact, 1 in 10 fathers will experience postpartum depression.  While men may not experience the full range of hormonal changes or other factors that affect women, they do experience a change in their role.  The pressure to be a good dad, the desire to succeed as a father, along with lack of sleep, frustration over trying to soothe a fussy baby and fears of making a mistake all take a toll.

Sometimes it is more difficult to diagnose depression in dads because its signs are more complicated for men.  Common perception is that depression includes sadness and crying.  But depression in men can include sleep deprivation, irritability, anger, working constantly, drinking and gambling, or having an affair.

Resources for fathers, partners, and family include:

Chat with an Expert — For DADS
Postpartum Support International hosts a free call-in forum the first Monday of every month specifically for fathers.  The forum is facilitated by an expert in the field of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Call for information, support, and connection with other dads.

Postpartum Dads is an online forum to help dads and families by providing firsthand information and guidance.

The Postpartum Husband  is a short, concise, easy-to-read book that can help a dad – or other family member – understand what perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are and how to help.

PostpartumMen is an online community of self-help and mutual support for postpartum men.

Boot Camp for New Dads is a unique father-to-father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men of different economic levels, ages, and cultures to become confidently engaged with their infants, support their mates, and personally navigate their transformation into fathers.

Partners to Parents has practical tips on how couples can strengthen their relationship when they are pregnant or have recently had a baby. Topics include staying connected, parenting as a team, managing conflict, and seeking professional help.

Providers who support fathers going through their own perinatal mood and anxiety disorders include:

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