Paternal perinatal mental health: evidence review

This evidence review explores paternal perinatal mental health, including the factors affecting paternal perinatal mental health, those most likely to be affected, sources of support used by men during the perinatal period and barriers which might impede men accessing support.

Executive Summary

The transition to parenthood is often a time of significant psychological adjustment for parents, that brings heightened risks of mental health concerns. While there is a relatively broad body of evidence that explores the mental health implications of becoming a parent for mothers, it is only in recent years that there has been an increasing focus on the mental health needs of fathers during the perinatal period. Research highlights the psychological, and physiological changes men may undergo during the perinatal period and that their mental health needs at this time can be distinct from maternal mental health concerns. In addition, it has been observed that there is a lack of mental health support specifically for men during the perinatal period and that men experience barriers when trying to access support.

This evidence review covers the findings of a rapid appraisal of research about paternal perinatal mental health. It addresses the following research questions:

  • What are the factors affecting paternal perinatal mental health?
  • Who is most likely to be impacted by paternal perinatal mental health problems?
  • What sources of mental health support do men use during the perinatal period?
  • What barriers might impede men accessing paternal perinatal mental health support?



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