At some point in their lives, everyone experiences something that makes them feel anxious. A child is one of the most significant life events that can cause anxiety.

While the focus during pregnancy is often on the birthing parent, a 2021 review revealed that fathers experience anxiety at higher rates than average during their partner’s pregnancy and the first year of parenthood.

What are some of the causes of anxiety for non-birthing parents? What can you do to manage this anxiety? Read on to learn more.

Language matters

The studies that were referenced in this article only involved men. Non-birthing parents can be any gender.

The term “Fathers” may be used to refer to the results of a study. Many of the causes of anxiety are common among non-birthing parents.

A 2017 study looked at posts on Reddit to identify common worries for non-birthing parents.

There are a lot of sources of anxiety found in posts from non-birthing parents.

  • The baby has health concerns.
  • Concerns for the birthing parent.
  • The future of the relationship is worrying people.
  • Being a father is a role that is nervous.
  • There are potential work- family conflicts.

“There is a lot to unpack with these topics, so let’s look at some of the causes of anxiety.”

1. Pregnancy or birth complications

It is normal to worry about the health of the birthing parent. Complications can sometimes happen during pregnancies, but most of the time they are not.

There are some more common problems in pregnancies and childbirth.

Prompt medical attention can help manage many potential pregnancies problems. It is important to keep up with the tests.

If you are concerned about possible problems, you should attend the appointments. You can speak with the OB- GYN of the birthing parent to get a better idea of what to expect.

You can also read books about pregnancy and labor to learn more.

2. Finances

Raising a baby can be expensive. It is natural to worry about whether you have enough money for your child when it comes to day care, college, and other costs.

You may wish to research what free programs and resources are available for new parents in your community. Meeting with a financial advisor can also help you get a long-term plan in order.

3. Postpartum adjustment

Postpartum anxiety and depression are not only experienced by the birthing parent. A 2019 review of studies found that about 1 in 10 fathers experience postpartum depression and anxiety.

Keep in mind that although postpartum depression can occur at any point in the baby’s first year of life, the risk for non-birthing parents is highest when the baby is 3 to 6 months old.

Being a parent can bring lifestyle changes. If you are having a hard time managing these adjustments or feel that you are experiencing anxiety or depression, it is important to seek help immediately.

4. Infant health

It is natural for a parent to feel protective over their child. Medical professionals are there to help.

Your baby will receive various checks after birth. You will see their doctor frequently for the first month after your baby is born.

“If you are worried about your baby’s health, reach out to their doctor. If you attend classes and read books, you can learn how to help your baby if they are sick.”

5. Lifestyle changes

Carefree days, intimacy, and working late are things you might fear will be gone after the baby arrives.

A lot of new responsibilities come with being a parent. It is important to remember that you may be able to share these with the birthing parent or other adults.

You may wonder how having a child will affect your relationship with the birth parent.

About 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth, the birthing parent is usually medically cleared to begin having sexual intercourse, but not every individual feels physically and emotionally ready. You’ll want to talk with your partner about this.

“It can be difficult to find a work-life balance in the first few weeks of a baby’s life. Many companies offer parental leave. It is helpful to know what paid leave options are available before your baby arrives.”

6. Will I be a good enough parent?

It is very common to wonder if you will be a good parent or not.

If you are feeling doubt in this area, it is helpful to surround yourself with other non-birthing parents who can relate to your current day-to-day experiences.

As a parent, having a support team of fellow parents and professionals can help you grow.

Feelings of anxiety can be physical or mental.

You may find that you are not exactly suffering from the exact symptoms.

  • I feel too worried to eat.
  • “It’s hard to fall asleep at night.”
  • I would like to sleep all the time.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • becoming withdrawn from others.
  • A person is breathing or a heartbeat.

If you feel anxious, it is a good idea to talk to a medical professional.

If you’re experiencing anxiety, you’ll want to get support, find ways to prepare, and stay connected. To do this, you can:

  • Learn more about pregnancy. Consider taking a childbirth or parenting class or working with a doula. A 2020 review found that fathers who attended pre-birth classes were less anxious than those who did not. You can also read books about pregnancy, postpartum, and child development.
  • Talk with a financial consultant. They can help you create a budget and make a long-term financial plan.
  • Speak to a therapist. At least one study has shown counseling to be an effective way to reduce anxiety in fathers-to-be.
  • Join a support group. In-person groups for non-birthing or new parents are a great way to bond with others in your community. If there are no local options, you may wish to join a virtual group.
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, and meditating can help your body cope with stress.

It is normal to feel stress as a non-birthing parent. There are a lot of changes in your life.

The health of the baby and birthing parent, worries about finances, and questions about your ability to be a good parent are some of the sources of anxiety.

If you are having trouble sleeping, eating or doing daily activities, you may want to speak with a counselor. They can help you understand your fears.