It is highly likely that over the past few weeks and months since your baby arrived there has been no shortage of friends, family, midwives and GPs asking, “How are you Mum?” As part of routine postnatal care and support new mothers are routinely screened for mental health worries and there is a wealth of support that can be offered.
But… what about partners? Aren’t they new parents too? It is only very recently that fathers, partners and other family members of Mums being supported by perinatal mental health services are being screened and offered support if needed.
Becoming a parent is a life changing event for everyone be they man or woman and it is important that everyone is supported as they make the transition to parenthood. Partners can feel increased pressure to hide any feelings of anxiety or depression for fear it will worry Mum who may be navigating her own emotions.
It is now widely acknowledged that at least 1 in 10 men or partners will suffer with postnatal depression (PND). You or another family member may notice changes in behaviour, an increase in alcohol use, changes in food intake or exercise regimes, short temper, quiet or withdrawn behaviour. If so, encourage that person to talk about how they are feeling.
The transition for both of you whether this is your first or subsequent child can not be underestimated and is worth regular check-ins with each other. Here are our top tips for supporting each other during what can be one of life’s most wonderful, yet overwhelming times of your life: