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Support for dads

Expecting a baby and being a new dad can be an exciting and challenging times. We’re here to help

Fatherhood brings big changes

Becoming a new dad is a life-changing event. Even when change is positive, it can still be challenging. Having mixed and complex emotions as an expecting or new dad is completley normal, but these can be confronting emotions to manage.

If you're not feeling yourself, it's important to know that you don't have to suck it up.

Here you'll find useful information about fatherhood and mental wellbeing.

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Helpful info for dads
Perinatal anxiety and depression in dads
Mental health checklist
Managing relationships
Caring for the whole family
Calling the PANDA Helpline
Real life stories
Helpful info for dads

Articles for expecting and new dads

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Perinatal anxiety and depression in dads

Symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression can look different for each dad.

These are some of the common signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in expecting and new dads.

I WOULD SIT AT MY DESK FOR HOURS, WITH MY HEAD IN MY HANDS, TRYING TO THINK MY WAY THROUGH ALL THE COMPETING PRESSURES I WAS FEELING.

  • Constant tiredness or exhaustion.
  • High physical stress levels (eg headaches, muscle tension).
  • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy (eg work, relationships, down time).
  • Appetite changes.
  • Sleep problems (unrelated to baby’s sleep).
  • Changes to sex drive and desire for intimacy.
  • Irritability, anger, resentment, frustration, moodiness.
  • Fear of looking after your baby, or avoiding caring for them.
  • Feeling rejected by your partner as they focus on caring for baby.
  • Emotional withdrawal from your partner, baby, family, friends.
  • Not wanting to communicate with your loved ones.
  • Feeling isolated and lonely.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to ‘escape’ or cope.
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

I WOULD SIT AT MY DESK FOR HOURS, WITH MY HEAD IN MY HANDS, TRYING TO THINK MY WAY THROUGH ALL THE COMPETING PRESSURES I WAS FEELING.

Mental health checklist

How are you going?

Everyone’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is unique and brings different rewards and challenges. Our mental health checklist can help you to see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be reason to seek help.

Checklist for

Expecting Mums
Expecting Dads and Non-birth Parents
New Mums
New Dads and Non-birth Parents
Partners and Carers
Managing relationships

A guide for dads

Becoming a new dad is a life-changing event. It can also test the strength of your relationship with your partner. If this is your first baby, you’re shifting from being partners to becoming parents together. If you already have children, you’re adjusting to caring for another baby in a busy household. Even the strongest relationships can feel the strain.

Here are some ways to stay connected and still find time to look after yourself too.

Managing relationships: Guide for dads
Caring for the whole family

Looking after yourself and your baby

Calling the PANDA Helpline

What happens when I call the PANDA Helpline?

When you call PANDA, we’ll provide confidential space for you to talk through any concerns you may have as an expecting or new parent, or support person.

Real life stories

Read stories from dads like you

Useful links

Information and support

Do you have questions?

Find answers to your questions on perinatal mental health and wellbeing. Select the option that best describes your situation and the subject you’d like to know more about.

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PANDA Helpline

Find someone to talk to, Mon to Fri, 9am - 7.30pm AEST/AEDT

1300 726 306

Call 000 for police and ambulance if you or someone else are in immediate danger

Talk with friends or family

Consider talking about how you are feeling with someone you trust. This might be a friend or family member. Once you starting talking you might be surprised at how many others have had similar experiences and the support they can provide you.

Talk with your doctor

Talking with your doctor can be an important step to getting the help you need. They should be able to give you non-judgemental support, assessment, diagnosis, and ongoing care and treatment. They can also refer you to specialists such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Get help now

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are feeling disorientated it’s important to get help immediately. PANDA is not a crisis service, if you need immediate support call Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7).

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While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

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