Parents: Your Feelings After Your Baby is Born (Dads)
Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
Birth brings changes. The birth of your baby can bring challenges to your life like: loss of sleep, changes in your role in the family, your partner’s need for more care and attention, feeling unable to do everything you would like to and financial strain.
Some dads will have postpartum depression. You may have many different emotions after the birth of a baby like feelings of joy, love and devotion. However, if you are experiencing postpartum depression you may feel sadness, anger, irritability and/or hopelessness. You may also notice a change in sleeping and eating patterns.
Postpartum depression can impact many things including your relationships with your partner and/or your baby. You may not realize what is happening to you until your child is almost one year old. Spending time caring for your baby’s mom is important but it may make you not pay attention to yourself. Your relationship with your partner can become strained, distant and conflicted.
You may also have trouble bonding with your child and may find it difficult to care or play with them. It may be difficult to admit that you are feeling bad about your baby. You may feel guilty about not wanting to spend time with your family.
While it is important for you to be involved and responsible for your family from the start – you need to find ways to care for yourself.
Get support. If you think that you may be experiencing postpartum depression is important to talk with someone about what you are feeling. Reach out to your partner, friends, family or health care provider for help. Get counselling. Consider medication if your healthcare provider thinks that it is right for you.
Sometimes the “baby blues” do not go away and mothers may have postpartum depression as well. It is important to support her and find help from your health care provider as needed.
Looking after your emotions is good for you and your child. It can help you be the best dad that you can be.
The Public Health Agency of Canada gratefully acknowledges the collaboration and expertise of Dad Central Canada (www.dadcentral.ca) and their national network in the development of the Nobody’s Perfect tipsheets for dads.
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