Research & Science

Fathers, Partners, & Non-gestational Parents

NPA Position Statement 2018

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Tiffany N. Willis, PsyD & Colleagues

Published Online By National Perinatal Association

May 2018

“O’Brien and colleagues found 10% of fathers experience depression and anxiety during the perinatal period. Fathers have been shown to exhibit symptoms of irritability, self-isolation, overworking, substance abuse, and hopelessness.9 Research also demonstrates that the most significant risk factor for depression in fathers, both prenatally and in the postpartum period, is maternal depression.”

“As the literature emerges, evidence reflects that fathers, partners, and other non-gestational/non-biological parents (e.g. foster and adoptive parents) are also affected by the stress of having a newborn and may experience anxiety and depression. They are also at risk for anxiety and depression which directly relates to poor outcomes for the child.”

Forgotten fathers: New dads also at risk for postpartum depression.  Study provides an in-depth look at new fathers' experiences with PPD 

By Keyonna Summers

Published online by Science Daily

March 7, 2019

“Between 5 and 10 percent of new fathers in the United States suffer from PPD, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. One study shows that the risk goes up to 24 to 50 percent for men whose partners suffer from PPD.“


Media Articles & Blogs

Dr Miriam Stoppard: Post-natal depression is common in men

By Miriam Stoppard  

Published online by Mirror UK

Aug 1, 2019

“... if the depression goes unrecognised, ‘one of most terrible things is that you catch up with yourself a year later and realise you have been really down and ­struggling – and the first year of your child’s life has gone.’”

Dads mental health 

by Mark Williams 

Published online for the PSI Blog

June 17, 2018

“I’ve learned that postpartum depression and anxiety can look very different in fathers. For me, I acted totally out of character and wanted to avoid family members. I drank more to cope and was not feeling the overwhelming paternal love that society was telling me I should. I was even starting fights with the doorman, hoping someone would hit me and somehow release the pain I was feeling inside. I was overeating, isolated from society, and looking after Michelle. I was having money worries after giving up work for six months and couldn’t tell my best mates due to the stigma. I didn’t think men could have postnatal depression and felt I had to ‘man up‘ because all I wanted was for my wife to be happy.”

Postpartum depression in new dads often missed  

By Manas Mishra

Published online by Business Insider

June 10, 2019

“‘New fathers, like mothers, can grapple with anxiety, depression and traumas and also struggle to bond with their babies,‘ said Mark Williams, founder of Fathers Reaching Out...”

These New Dads Love Their Babies. So Why Can't They Stop Thinking About Hurting Them?  

By Natasha Preskey

Published online by Men’s Health

May 1, 2018

“For parents, postpartum OCD can manifest itself in terrifying, intrusive thoughts about being violent or even sexually abusive toward their own children.  Parents with postpartum OCD are not at risk of acting on those thoughts, but that doesn't change how difficult it is for men to live with them.”


Online Resources

Postpartum Men Website

Pacific Postpartum Support Society

Postpartum Support International

International OCD Foundation

Beyond the Blues:  Postpartum OCD 

(You can also search for a local or online therapist)

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Let’s Talk About Men & Postpartum Anxiety

(You can also search for a local or online therapist)