A considerable amount of work and research has been done on how men also can suffer from Postnatal Depression.
Like the reasons for women, it is multifactorial. Caring and supporting a partner through labour and birth can be extremely difficult for men who don’t like to see their partners suffering and in pain. They often feel helpless and try to ‘fix it’. But labour and birth are not like that. Men have their own release of male hormones in response to this. Adrenaline, testosterone to name a couple.
After the birth, there is exhaustion for them too, coupled with broken nights, worry about work, the future, guilt at watching their partners struggle with breast feeding, plus healing from the birth, all contributing to a lowering of mood in the days and weeks that follow.
The treatment for this is of course, first recognising the depression and for help with this there is a self-assessment tool on the NHS website, NHS choices. www.nhs.uk.
The National Childbirth Trust also have a lot of useful information on their website too. www.nct.org.uk
Talking Therapies is another great way of getting back on track as well as having a discussion with a General Practitioner (GP) who may prescribe a short course of anti-depressants if necessary.
The main thing is owning the sad feelings and not feeling guilty that you too (men) could be suffering from postnatal depression.
Beyond Birth Counselling offers services for partners as well.