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Supportive Care for Partners and Non-Birthing Parents During the Perinatal Period

The perinatal period is a time of profound change, especially for fathers and non-birthing parents. Adjustments in relationship dynamics, roles, workload, and finances often lead to increased stress, impacting mental health. At Elle Psychotherapy, we offer specialized support to help navigate these changes with care and understanding.

Understanding Perinatal Mental Health Challenges in Partners

During this period, new challenges such as depression and anxiety can arise, or existing mental health issues may worsen. It's reported that up to 10% of fathers and non-birthing parents experience perinatal mental health changes (Paulson & Bazemore, 2010), but many go undetected and untreated due to lack of awareness and standard screening protocols.

Perinatal Depression in Partners

Depression is a common mental health problem, with a reported prevalence of 2.3-8.4% among this group (Glasser & Lerner-Geva, 2018). Symptoms can include low mood, increased irritability, social isolation, impulsive behaviour, and decreased interest in pleasurable activities. Those with a history of depression or anxiety, or those whose partners are experiencing perinatal depression, are at an increased risk.

Impact on Partners and Families

Research demonstrates that perinatal depression and anxiety can adversely affect infant development and children’s mental health (Wong et al., 2015; Kvalevaag et al., 2013; Ramchandani et al., 2008). Addressing these mental health needs can reduce negative effects on offspring and help provide better support to partners.

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Image by Eric Ward

Psychotherapy for Partners During the Perinatal Period

Most publicly funded perinatal mental health services target mothers and birthing parents (Singley & Edwards, 2015), leaving a gap in support for fathers and non-birthing parents. Our private psychotherapeutic support bridges this gap, aiding in processing the life transition to parenthood, improving coping mechanisms, and nurturing stronger support networks.

At Elle Psychotherapy we’ve adopted a variety of effective approaches, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focusing on the interplay of thoughts, behaviours, and feelings

  • Interpersonal Therapy addressing role transitions, communication, and relationships

  • Solution-focused and Couples Therapy for collaborative problem-solving and fostering mutual understanding between parents

Connect with Elle Psychotherapy

The journey to parenthood, especially for fathers and non-birthing parents, can be both beautiful and challenging. At Elle Psychotherapy, we offer a supportive space to navigate these challenges during the perinatal period. Our services are tailored to help alleviate symptoms of perinatal depression, anxiety, or loss you may be facing.

Our dedicated team is here to answer any questions and provide the support you need. Whether it’s individual or couples’ therapy, we’re here to assist you. Reach out to Elle Psychotherapy today, and let’s take the first step towards a supportive and empowering journey through parenthood together.

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