Fathers and Postpartum Dynamics


These resources are now owned and operated by Child Health BC who is making them freely available to parents, caregivers, families and anyone supporting healthy child development in the early years.

New Mothers Require Support Yet Fathers May Feel Stressed or Deprived

Babies are meant to be parented by more than one person but in our modern culture, extended families may not be available to play an active role. Then the role of the father, as the main or only support for the mother, becomes exaggeratedly important. For a variety of practical and emotional reasons, fathers may not be able to provide this support and the new mother may be isolated with the baby.

Developing Emotional Maturity

Some marry young and may have unresolved childhood needs. Men often look upon their partners as mother substitutes, and women are acculturated to take on that role.  When a child comes along the father may feel somewhat deprived, at least unconsciously. If men are not mature enough to understand what is happening, their dissatisfaction might manifest itself through abuse or engaging in an extra-marital affair. Paying attention to the new mother’s symptoms is a key to resolving postpartum issues.


Dr. Gabor Maté