Tommy's PregnancyHub

Your partner’s emotions during pregnancy - for dads and partners

Pregnancy hormones can make your partner’s emotions go up and down. Here’s more about how partners and dads-to-be can support their pregnant partner.

Along with the happy, positive feelings about the pregnancy, it’s natural for mums and birthing parents to sometimes feel worried or low. But if they feel like this all the time or feel they can’t cope, it’s important that they get support.

Supporting your partner with their emotional health

Sometimes, all your partner might need is for you to be there. A hug or reassuring word can go a long way to making them feel supported and cared for. You might like to encourage them to:   

“Just being present can be really powerful. Sometimes mums just need a hug and a cry.”

Ross

Anxiety and depression

Many women and birthing people experience anxiety or depression during pregnancy.    

The midwife or doctor will ask your partner how they’re feeling at their booking appointment. If your partner needs support with their emotional health, they can speak to their GP, midwife or health visitor at any stage of pregnancy.

You can also speak to these health professionals if you’re worried about your partner. 

Your relationship

Pregnancy can put extra pressure on your relationship with the mum or birthing parent, whether you’re a couple or co-parenting. Talking to each other about how you both feel can help you work through any problems together. 

Read more about relationships and sex during pregnancy.

How pregnancy can affect dads and partners

The physical and emotional changes that pregnant mums and birthing parents go through are well known. But there’s some evidence that men and non-birthing parents may experience hormone changes too.

Many men and partners experience stress, anxiety or depression during their partner's pregnancy or after their baby is born. Find out more about how pregnancy can affect dads and partners.

After the birth

Having a baby is a huge life change, which can affect both parents. Find out more about looking your partner's mental health after birth and looking after your mental health after your baby is born.

Looking after your own mental health

This is Ben's story of his experience of being a dad during pregnancy.

RCPSYCH (2018) Mental health in pregnancy. Royal College of Psychiatrists  https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/treatments-and-wellbeing/mental-health-in-pregnancy   

NHS. Mental health in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/mental-health/ (Page last reviewed: 19 February 2021. Next review due: 19 February 2024)

RCPSYCH (2018) Mental health in pregnancy. Royal College of Psychiatrists  https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/treatments-and-wellbeing/mental-health-in-pregnancy   

Glover V, Barlow J. (2015) The impact of stress in pregnancy. NCT’s journal on preparing parents for birth and early parenthood 2015; 28.

NICE (2014, updated 2020) Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical management and service guidance.

NICE Clinical guideline 192. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg192             
 

Review dates
Reviewed: 15 June 2022 | Next review: 15 June 2025