Post-natal stress hits dads

NOT only mothers but fathers also can suffer from post-natal depression. In fact, mothers appear to be far more prepared for birth than fathers.

The baby begins bonding with mum from the moment of conception because baby shares mum's body.

Although most men are interested and excited in the development of the baby in the womb, they have no real idea what it is like.

When baby is born, dad possibly thinks, "At last. It's my turn to bond now."

However, it's not always easy because by now the expectations of this baby's birth and what it will bring, and mean, to dad's life is huge.

Dad has had nine long months to prepare for this child and finally here it is in life. It is real.

Will dad's expectations be met? Will the reality be as fulfilling as the nine months of hopes and dreams? Will he be given the opportunity to bond and how does he go about that?

Dad's role is complex.

Where does he fit in his role in the 21st century?

Dad arrives home at the end of the day and he is anxious to perform his role in the short time he has remaining in the day.

While he wishes to do this, how possible is it in reality?

Mum is organised and has a routine. Baby responds to this.

Where does dad fit?

Suddenly, he is in the way, interrupting the pattern, looking for his place.

The pressure on a man to look like he is succeeding in parenthood is huge.

What if he falters or does something wrong? What will that say about him? Who does he turn to for help?

Mum is now busy and unavailable to him and how would he admit the difficulty he is experiencing without losing face.

It therefore makes sense that depression could be a normal response for a man who has difficulty adapting to the transition from the role of husband to that of husband and father.

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