Dads can have a big influence on whether mothers go for help and get assistance when struggling with anxiety or depression. When at risk mothers were asked who they go to for help with emotional problems more than 9/10 said their partner compared to about 50% who said their GP1. So the first person that’s likely to hear about a mum’s distress, sadness and anxiety is THE DAD. The first person who’s going to notice that she’s not sleeping enough, that she is not enjoying the new baby, that she’s not feeling confident to figure out what to do, is THE DAD.
Dad’s are in a position to suggest that talking to her GP might not be a bad idea. Or checking out the online support that’s available and free. The theme for the mental health services 2020 Perinatal Mental Health Week is “We’re here we’re listening”. Well that’s what dads do all the time. What the research underlines is that how the dad listens, and how he reacts will have a big impact on how the pregnancy and birth go2,3.