Some one checking in as to how I was doing. I felt that I was unprepared for helping my partner make the best decisions for her and our child. There were too many people trying to push agendas often with conflicting opinions from different professionals. This created a lot of anxiety for us as a new family and there was not any support around how to cope with this.
My wife was offered lots of help – but at no point did anyone ask if I was okay. I was feeling very overwhelmed with a new baby, but felt that I wasn’t in a position to ask for help. Even if I had been acknowledged by the midwives and asked how I was doing would have been nice.
I experienced increased depression after some of the births. I would have liked some support for that or at least to be aware that there was support out there
I don’t want to sound self-indulgent, but I don’t think it can be underestimated how upsetting it can be to see your wife in so much pain.
I just think it’s important for men to know that exhaustion causes a lot of problems including anxiety, depression and confusion, and they need to realise, for their own sake, that it is a temporary state and it will eventually right itself.
It’s very emotional and can be worrying and difficult – but with mutual support and help where needed it’s so rewarding
It’s such a big change that nothing can prepare you for. Having already had episodes of depression and now investigating a long standing neurological condition, having some extra support would have been helpful.
No one checked in on me or what my health situation was. It was very isolating.
It’s new to us. They seem to forget this as they do it everyday. It’s not nice to watch a young male doctor reaching into your wife and causing her pain! Respect that this is new/unusual. Explain things. Allow us to be part of the mum-to-be, not just someone who doesn’t matter- I want to be there throughout the whole process as much as she wants me there.
A chance to talk alone with a midwife or HCP about how we feel, to feel we are listened to.
To divide is not to take away, a focus on the dad doesn’t mean LESS attention for the mother and may well mean better support for her.
While a lot of emphasis is understandably placed on the well-being of mothers, it is important that fathers/birth partners are given adequate help and support, especially first timers.
I think that the sufferings of men in these situations are something that just aren’t discussed. I was thinking recently, ‘can dads get post-natal depression?’ but thought the question so ridiculous that I was afraid to ask anyone, and I assumed PND is a result of a hormonal change in the mum after giving birth. I think a lot more research needs to be done in this area, and a lot more consideration given to fathers in these circumstances. As I said though, this is just a small part of a huge, over-reaching problem with attitudes towards mental health problems in this country, and I think we’ve got an awful long way to go before the stigma is taken away from it. Until that happens, a completely open discussion is virtually impossible to have, unfortunately.