Of course fathers move through a huge period of adjustment when they have children, similar to women. Although they don't physically carry the child during pregnancy, they are often involved every step of the way. Their lives are irrevocably changed by pregnancy and by the birth of a child. Their mental health can be affected by the enormous changes to their life and relationship.
Common concerns for Fathers
- Feeling useless
- Not knowing what to do to help
- Changes in partner’s priorities
- Relationship stress
- Lack of intimacy and sex
- Postnatal depression
- Birth trauma
Five percent of fathers are diagnosed with postnatal depression. There is very commonly relationship stress from the huge changes in roles, tasks, and negotiation of family roles. Men often feel responsibility to provide financially for their family and thus throw themselves into work right at the time their partner wants them to be home more. There are also many, many new tasks to complete, all of which may appear to come naturally to a man's partner (although commonly does not). It is important to acknowledge this time can be difficult for everyone.
If you feel you or your parnter could benefit from support, please contact us. Our Clinical Psychologist Chrisi has a great deal of experience working with couples; you may find benefit from discussing the transition from couple to a family, how you will negotiate this transition together, and how to parent consistently as a team.