Dr Sarah McMullen, Head of Research at the National Childbirth Trust, believes that the changing role of men in childcare may be responsible for the rise in male postnatal depression.
“Times are changing,” says McMullen. “Men are much more involved both in attending the birth, for example, compared to many years ago and much more involved as dads in the early weeks and months of their baby’s life. This means that they are experiencing the challenges of relationship changes and the financial strain – just like mothers do.
““We recognise the huge impact having a baby can have on dads as well as mums,” McMullen continues. “Perinatal mental health issues can affect men or women so raising awareness of the specific concerns and questions that dads-to-be or new dads have is crucial. Dads sometimes feel uncomfortable about opening up about their feelings but we would encourage them to do so and seek the support they need.”