What can you do if you think you have male postnatal depression?

New fathers can often suffer from symptoms of post-natal depression, just like new mothers. Credit: PA

The following suggestions might be useful to support positive mental wellbeing for all dads:

  • Men can sometimes feel uncomfortable about opening up about their feeling but it's so important that you seek the support you need. Share your feeling with people you trust.

  • This could be your family or friends, a health professional or a counsellor.

  • Although many new parents experience mood changes or feel down some or the time, you may find that feelings of anxiety or low mood persist.

  • If you have concerns about your own or your partner’s mental health, it’s best to seek help from your GP who can help you to access support services.

  • Try to take some time for yourself by maintaining involvement in hobbies, exercise, or social activities, even an hour here or there can make a difference.

  • It may help to meet other new dads. Dads groups are becoming more and more common as a place for men to share their thoughts and experiences of becoming a parent with their peers.

  • Find out if there is a group in your area.

  • Your local NCT branch might be able to put you in touch with one.

  • One symptom of PND, as described above, is feeling guilty about not loving your baby enough or feeling indifferent to them.

  • Try and remember that you are important and special to your baby and, if you can, spend time doing simple things like bathing them, changing their nappy or just playing. This might help you feel closer to them.

  • Take some exercise each day, like a walk with the buggy or swimming.

  • Exercise can have a positive effect on mood and sense of wellbeing.

  • It's also important to avoid negative coping strategies, such as drinking too much or working too hard and staying away from home.

  • Sharing your thoughts and feelings - as hard as that might feel - is probably the best thing you can do.

If you've tried to help yourself but you're still feeling low and experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, then it's best to see your GP who can talkthrough other options.

The above advice has been issued by the National Childbirth Trust.