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The Highs and Lows of Being a New Father

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

First Step Men's Therapy helps men across Ontario, Canada develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. We offer individual, couples, and group counselling to men and their families online using our secure telehealth platform.

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For those expecting, thoughts and feelings may arise that can challenge our ability to be there for our newborns and our partners. For those who have recently become fathers or have young children, the stresses and challenges that one encounters on a daily basis, both as a father and as a partner, can be important areas to explore within therapy.

New fathers and those with children often carry their own childhood wounds and internal challenges into parenthood, thus therapy can be a great opportunity to examine one's own upbringing from a new perspective and to better co-parent and raise children in a healthier way.

Some of the common questions new fathers and parents express include:

  • How can I best support my partner in our marriage and family life?

  • I had such a horrible childhood; how can I prevent this from happening to my children?

  • How can I balance work-family-friends-health to ensure all areas of my life are adequately supported?

  • How can I nurture and foster my child’s development in a healthy way?

  • How do I find ways to develop better self-care and coping habits to ensure that I maintain my sobriety or mental health during difficult times?

  • Will I have the tools and support needed to ensure my child has a great life?

  • How can I cope effectively with the different stages of my child's growth and development?

  • How can I prevent intimacy issues from impacting my relationship and family post-partum?

It is important to note that men can also have post-partum anxiety or depression, with physical and psychological symptoms that appear similar and different than those of women. Some include:

  • Decreased sleep or poorer sleep patterns

  • Decreased social activity

  • Challenges related to emotional regulation

  • Increased anger and frustration

  • Difficulty focus/concentration on activities, including work and home

  • Decreased testosterone production/levels

  • Increased questioning of self-worth over being a "good father/partner"

  • Increased isolation and lack of social connections

Some men may also develop certain disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, with an increased focus on the baby's health or increased thoughts of inadvertently hurting one's child. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is also a potential risk for fathers.

Therapy, both individual and group, can be a helpful tool in addressing the current and underlying issues that impact one's ability to raise and care for their children and family. Understanding and exploring some of the root causes and working on a tailored treatment plan can help men become better fathers and lead more productive and healthy lives with their family.

New Fathers and Parenting Therapy: Click here

We offer virtual counselling sessions to men struggling with being a new father across Ontario including Toronto, Brampton, North Bay, Windsor, London, Barrie, Kingston, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catherines, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Pickering, Sudbury, Bowmanville, and Mississauga.


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