Dad Opens About His Struggle With Paternal Postnatal Depression
A brave dad-of-two appeared on This Morning to talk about his battle with paternal postpartum depression following the birth of his little girl.
Mike Simms, a fireman, was on the show alongside his wife Effie in an attempt to raise awareness about the fact that postnatal depression can affect new dads, as well as new mums.
Speaking to hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langford, Mike said that he was left feeling like a failure.
He said: "We meticulously planned the baby, my wife's a teacher so we'd gone for the school holidays.
"We'd been to classes, painted the nursery, we were really excited.
Credit: This Morning/ITV
"Then the birth came. I'm not going to say it's traumatic for me because, for the wife, it's horrendous, but I felt it was my fault, it takes two to tango, I've done this to her and it was horrendous to watch."
He then said that almost instantly he struggled to bond with the baby, a little girl called Monroe.
He said: "Afterwards you're given this small pink person, so I've got hold of Monroe and it's the first time I've met her.
"I thought I'd feel a massive rush of emotion, a connection, but it was just like meeting somebody new. I felt totally disconnected, I thought there was something wrong."
And things only got worse for Mike when they brought the new-born home.
He said that seeing the close bond between his wife and the baby only made the problem worse.
"I wasn't jealous of the baby taking Effie's attention away from me," he said. "I was jealous of the bond they had.
"When she would cry, I felt at the time she hated me I couldn't do anything to soothe her, look after her, but when she went to Effie she'd go quiet."
Credit: This Morning/ITV
It wasn't long before Effie picked up on his change in behaviour, she said that the couple began to argue and that he 'didn't seem to be enjoying' parenthood.
Effie persuaded Mike to visit his GP to get help, which he did and now things are getting back on track for the family.
Research from family charity National Childbirth Trust, found that more than one in three dads have 'concerns about their mental health' and as many as one in 10 dads suffer from postnatal depression.
There are a range of treatments out there, from medication to counselling, however the issue is that, generally speaking, men won't speak out about it.
So, well done to Mike for helping to remove some of the stigma around the issue and getting people talking.
If any of this sounds familiar, please don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.
Featured Image Credit: This Morning/ITV