Fathers

Counselling support for Dads – help with feelings of stress, adjusting to fatherhood, PND (you or partner), parenthood advice, managing sleep deprivation, relationship conflict – we can help…

“It’s awesome being a Dad, but I had no idea what I was in for.” ~ Tom, 32

“I love this little fella and I love being a Dad, but he’s a ton of work.  Even though people talk about the sleep deprivation, going through it is pretty rough.” ~ Mark, 37

“We both wanted to be parents and looked forward to growing our family.  But since my wife has been unwell with PND I have added worries.”  ~ David, 28

“When I thought of having a family, I imagined going on holidays or to the movies with older children, you know, 7 or 8 year olds.  I never really thought about what it would be like to be with a baby.  I had never even held a baby until I held my own.” ~ Simon, 34

The father’s role has changed dramatically over the past few decades.  Today, Dads are much more involved, both in the practicalities of parenting and in building their relationship with their child.

And fathers are important… Fathers typically play more often and more vigorously than mothers, providing an important and unique contribution to their infant’s healthy development.

There are many things to look forward to and enjoy.  But, adjusting to fatherhood, especially for the first time, has its challenges too.  Expectations are often not met and the reality can be harsh.

New fathers need to juggle like they never have before.  Often, men at this time become the sole breadwinner and they need to balance the demands of continued work performance and supportive home life on reduced sleep.  Many men believe their role is to be ‘the rock’ for their family and this causes a lot of stress.  All of this is more difficult if you or your partner is unwell with depression or anxiety.

This is a time for men to step up in taking good care of themselves so they can be as available as possible to emotionally support their partner, while meeting the demands of work and a new relationship with their baby.  You know the airline rule about putting on your own breathing mask first before helping others when there is an emergency?  It applies here.  You need to take care of yourself so you can be there for your family.

Fathers and mental health

Dads get stressed – especially first-time Dads.  Feeling stressed isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign you care and you are doing your best to adjust to this new life.  Men with a past history of stress or depression are at increased risk of becoming depressed during the perinatal period.  Men with a partner who is depressed either in pregnancy or after the birth are also at increased risk of developing depression at these times.

‘Dad stress’, depression and anxiety in men during the perinatal period is still under recognised, meaning many new Dads suffer in silence.

If you are struggling, it is okay to seek help.  At the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, we are used to seeing men during the transition to becoming a Dad.  We offer practical ways to improve your functioning so you can enjoy fatherhood and better support your family. We also know that Dads want to be involved, included and informed about parenting, and we can help.

Common reasons Dads seek help from us:

  • Feeling ‘Dad stress’ (or depression or anxiety) either before or after baby arrives
  • Feeling angry or overwhelmed (“This is too much”)
  • Adjusting to fatherhood
  • Establishing a secure bond or enjoyable relationship with your baby
  • Supporting your partner with PND
  • Consulting about parenting practices and approaches

Fathers who take care of their own mental health are in a better place to support their partner and baby.

Contact us Today

Find a psychologist near you that can help you with being a Dad.  You can search for your nearest perinatal psychologist by Location.

Call us on 1300 852 660 or contact us to make an appointment or enquiry.

Find A Perinatal Psychologist Near You