Postpartum Depression: Dads Get It, Too
And as Frequently as Moms
Being a new parent, as any parent can attest to, is stressful on everyone, to the point, a new Australian study has concluded, that men are suffering from postpartum depression as much as women are.
The study, published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, found that 9.4 percent of mothers have postpartum depression, while 9.7 percent of new dads have it during their baby's first year.
Younger fathers are most vulnerable, with dads under the age of 30 having a 40 percent higher chance of postpartum depression.
"Fathers are at risk of experiencing postnatal mental health difficulties, which may persist across the early childhood period for some fathers," the study says, according to a report in the Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. (via Jezebel.com).
"The results suggest routine assessment of fathers' well-being should be undertaken in the postnatal period with mental health interventions and support provided across the early childhood period."
The reasons for daddy postpartum: dads are taking on more responsibility these days -- more sleep deprivation, more juggling schedules -- and they're feeling the pressures, just like moms.
"Increasingly there is recognition that fathers are a key support for women with children," one of the study's co-authors says.
"This study shows, however, men are vulnerable too, because they are also lacking in sleep and juggling roles and responsibilities. We need to be detecting at-risk fathers early and responding early, because we know (mental health issues) are harder to treat if they are prolonged."
The study suggests all new parents get screened and feel open to talking to mental health care professionals when the stresses of new parenthood overwhelm them, and that public health messages begin to alert fathers that they too can suffer from postpartum depression.
So, new fathers, consider yourselves alerted.