New Study Says Postpartum Depression Can Affect Fathers As Well

Postpartum depression comes in the wake of a newborn child. It typically affects women following childbirth on account of the psychological adjustment to motherhood, hormonal changes, fatigue, and such factors.

So far, postpartum depression has been linked with mothers. However, a new study published in the Journal of Family Issues declares that men can also be affected by postpartum depression.

New Fathers And Postpartum Depression

The research material for this latest study comes from Internet sources such as blogs, websites, chat rooms, and forums. It was from here that investigators behind this study observed that men frequently talked and complained about the symptoms that show up among women with postpartum depression.

New fathers become overwhelmed with their new role into parenthood. They may also feel neglected by their wives. Plus, the nonstop needs of a newborn baby can leave them fatigued as well. They also complain about the lack of information on caring for their kids. On top of that, they may only find information that is relevant to mothers.

Like women, new fathers also feel trapped, overwhelmed and tired. Additionally, they feel neglected by the society as well as the healthcare system. All these factors plus similar issues seem to birth postpartum depression.

Limitations Of The Study

As a qualitative study, this research also shows some limitation:

Firstly, the researchers did not have any access to fathers. So, they could not ask specific questions to verify who they were and more such questions.

Secondly, they could not say for certain that the fathers have received a postpartum depression diagnosis from a mental and physical health professional.

Lastly, they did not know if the fathers had experienced depression before the baby was born or it occurred after the body was born.

Past Research On The Subject

Despite its limitation, this study makes some important conclusions. Past research on the matter also reached similar conclusions. A 2014 population-based study, for instance, found that the rate of depression in fathers ranged from 5-10% worldwide.

The study also learned that the rate of depression among fathers didn’t live with their children. Also, men who lived with their kids showed swelling symptoms of depression as their kids grew to age 5.

Another case in point is a 2004 review of studies outlined that paternal depression ranged from 1.2 to 25.5% in the sampled communities. However, depression among males whose partners had postpartum depression climbed from 24 to 50%.

Mayo Clinic also learned that young fathers with a history of depression are at risk of postpartum depression.

Wrap Up Thoughts

Postpartum depression among male is real. Like females, they feel trapped and overwhelmed as a new parent. Moreover, the lack of sleep can make fathers irritable, which can also amp up the risk of workplace conflicts.

In the light of these findings, it is essential for doctors to pay attention to new fathers as well. It is also important that partners take care of each other. Some men may be hesitant about discussing their feelings so partners and doctors need to be alert.