Men Get Postnatal Depression Too

Men get PND too
Men get PND too

No, I didn’t know men get Postnatal Depression (PND) either. It’s not that I had discounted it as a possibility, I’d just never thought about it. Yet the possibility of it does make sense when you think about it. I’ll go on in this post to talk more about this as I believe the state of men’s health in the UK and globally needs to be discussed much more to help those that need it and make the topic of mental health less taboo.

Before I do begin though I want to be completely transparent with you. I’m conscious that there could be some men with Postnatal Depression (PND) reading this and disagreeing with what I say, or suggesting “he hasn’t got a clue”. I’ve not got PND and I’m not a psychologist of any sort. As such I’m writing this based on my research rather than experience, all in an effort to raise awareness. As such I would absolutely encourage debate and disagreement with what I say. The more it’s talked about the better in my eyes.

I have found a really good blog written by a dad called Ross Hunt who has PND called Isablog. There are some really insightful and well written posts all about PND. One post that he has written is called Postnatal Depression: My Story. He has also produced a toolkit to help those with PND. This blog is great to understand PND in men. Well done Ross for opening up and sharing your story with the world.

What is Postnatal Depression?

PND is a form of depression that usually occurs within one year after a baby is born. This can affect both the dads and mums, and can be relatively mild or severe. It could creep up on you or occur all of a sudden. I think this is the thing too, I would imagine it’s hard to understand what’s going on with your mental health if you’re going through this, especially if you’ve not heard of PND in dads. I have learned that there is such a range of PND in terms of onset, length and severity that it’s very individual. Hopefully by raising awareness of this it will help some people who are experiencing such issues be able to find resources and talk about it.


Research done by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) found that 38% of dads are concerned about their mental health1. Also, dads are more likely to suffer from PND 3-6 months after the baby is born than any other time2.

It can affect one in ten mums3. I got this statistic of the impact on women from an NHS website. This NHS website does mention that men can get PND, though it’s less common than in women. Trouble is, this website keeps referring to women. How fantastic would it be for such pages to also refer to men more than it does currently?

In terms of PND in men the figures are not very clear. Reports of 4%-25% of men suffer with PND in the first two months4 and there are more statistics on this NHS page showing 21% of Dads can experience a depressive episode5 (but this is not necessarily PND). However, its difficult to find too many specific stats about PND in men.


Symptoms of PND
Symptoms of PND

Some of the common symptoms around PND include:

  • Feeling very low, very tired, struggling to get up and dressed in a morning
  • A sense of being unable to cope and feeling guilty about not coping
  • Wanting to cry, or crying much more than usual
  • Comfort eating, or perhaps drinking more alcohol than usual
  • Conversely a loss of appetite
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety, perhaps to the point of panic attacks
  • Having obsessive thoughts
  • Disturbing thoughts of harming themselves or the baby

And there are many other potential symptoms, with more listed on the NCT site here. What’s fantastic is that there are a lot of resources out there for dads (and mums!) to look at for PND. It’s just a matter of a quick search online.


My understanding is that there is no one cause of PND in dads. It is quite an individual thing but there are certain drivers which are generally accepted as being relevant:

  • Having a baby can be very stressful
  • Changes in relationship and lifestyle
  • Additional and changing financial pressures, which could be particularly relevant for new dads on lower incomes
  • Lack of rest/sleep
  • More responsibility at home, as well as combining home life with work
  • The partner experiencing PND can impact on the dads mental health too

I’m sure there are more too, and they will be very individual.


Mental health is important - let's talk about it
Mental health is important – let’s talk about it

As far as I’m aware there are basically four main treatment options open to dads with PND:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Medication
  • Counselling and Therapy
  • Peer group support

As i mentioned before Ross Hunt has come up with a toolkit on his blog too which could be useful.

However, I think the most important thing is to talk about it. Men don’t do enough of this, not enough talking about their mental health. Perhaps it’s seen as ‘weak’, not ‘manly’, I don’t know. There are a lot of sources of help out there, it’s just about finding them and taking advantage of them.

Final Thoughts…

It’s a frustration of mine that mental health is not considered in the same vein of thought as physical health. For example, how easy is it for everyone to phone work and say “I’ve been sick in the night and need time off today to recover” compared to “I’ve been up all night with anxiety and having panic attacks and could do with some time today to just get myself back to my normal self”? I’m sure there are many employers around the country who would willingly treat these two scenarios the same, but until they all do then we have a problem. Until that taboo around mental health is removed I can easily see how men will continue to hide such challenges.

Sources of My Research

I used a few resources for my research. I’ve listed them here so you can look more into them if you wish.


  1. NCT: Dads in distress: Many new fathers are worried about their mental health
  2. NCT: Postnatal depression in fathers
  3. NHS: Postnatal depression
  4. NCBI: Sad Dads
  5. NHS: Can men get the baby blues?

If you found this interesting and think it would be good to increase awareness please feel free to share. Many thanks.


  1. Thank you for writing this post! I think it’s really important for people who haven’t necessarily experienced PND to contribute to the discussion too. Just because you haven’t suffered from a particular thing, shouldn’t mean you can’t comment on it.

    And you’re right in regards to websites often using ”moms” instead of something like parents when referring to PND. If you’re a dad looking for answers, you’re immediately going to be put off.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Ross. I agree it’s important to talk about such issues. Best wishes to you and your family.

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