Herald Sun Australia November 05, 2007
FIRST-time expectant fathers are almost four times more stressed than other men. While many new mums struggle emotionally after their baby is born, dads-to-be are more likely to feel anxious during their partner’s pregnancy. The prospect of fatherhood and the changes it may bring causes much more concern to blokes than the real thing, according to a new Australian study. It says men worry about having to become more responsible financially and being unprepared for the practicalities of caring for an infant. They grieve for their carefree, independent lifestyle and may resent having to share their partner’s affection with a third person.And those who adopt the traditional role of protector often feel lost during pregnancy when their partners are under the care of midwives and obstetricians in a world where fathers have little influence or control. But most of these worries evaporate after the birth. In the largest study of its kind, doctors from New South Wales and South Australia surveyed more than 300 men whose partners were almost halfway through their first pregnancy. The study, recently published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, found 18.6 per cent of dads showed high levels of psychological distress.