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Explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues, including possible causes, sources of treatment and support, and advice for friends and family.
Only mothers can formally be diagnosed with a perinatal mental health problem. However, studies suggest that partners can also experience perinatal mental health problems. For example, studies into postnatal depression in fathers suggest that around one in five men experience depression after becoming fathers.
Partners might develop a mental health problem when becoming a parent for similar reasons to mothers, particularly if you:
You might also be coping with:
If your partner is also experiencing a mental health problem, this can make it even harder for you to cope with the normal struggles of becoming a parent.
"Overall it was a horrific time in our lives, for a total of around 18 months from falling pregnant to coming out the other side, which really put a massive strain on our relationship. Looking back, I'm not sure how we managed to get through it all."
Although there are fewer services that support partners, and you cannot get a specific perinatal diagnosis, there are still ways you can get support:
This information was published in July 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
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