Identifying and managing perinatal mental health in male partners using the Born and Bred in Yorkshire (BaBY) cohort: White Rose collaboration in gender and perinatal mental health



Establish a cross-disciplinary virtual centre of excellence in gender and perinatal mental health by bringing together experts in men’s health, psychosocial aspects of reproductive health, and mental health across the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. Harness the potential of an existing prospective, longitudinal cohort (Born and Bred in Yorkshire, BaBY) to conduct essential pump-priming work that will explore how mental health during pregnancy and after the birth is understood and articulated by fathers. Obtain further funding through the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme to develop and evaluate effective, accessible, and acceptable perinatal resources for male partners.


Proposed activities: Project inception event and subsequent project meetings (hosted at the University of Leeds) with applicants and key non-academic stakeholders. Convene a steering group comprising key public and patient stakeholders to collaborate and advise on research priorities. Develop an online presence to attract potential collaborators. Data collection and analysis building on the University of York’s BaBY cohort. Conduct and analyse in-depth interviews with approximately 15 men, identified through their involvement in BaBY, using maximum variation purposive sampling to seek diversity by sampling according to symptoms during pregnancy; parity (ie first-time fathers or not); ethnicity and socio-economic background.


National and international policy recognises the need for perinatal services to involve and support fathers during and after pregnancy. Despite depression during pregnancy and the first postnatal year affecting approximately 10% of male partners, ‘father-inclusive’ services are not yet evident in practice. Little is known about how paternal perinatal depression is understood and articulated by fathers, and what makes perinatal mental health resources effective, accessible and acceptable for men.


Dr Zoe Darwin (PI), Dr Paul Galdas, Dr Sharron Hinchliff, Professor Linda McGowan, Dr Dean McMillan, Professor Simon Gilbody, Dr Pat Ansell, Professor Eve Roman, Dr Liz Littlewood, Dr Kate Reed

Funding body: White Rose University Consortium Collaboration Fund, £10,190

Contact: Dr Zoe Darwin