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Dads Suffer from Postpartum Depression, Too

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momlogic's Vivian: More than one in 10 fathers become depressed after the birth of their child, and their postpartum depression is linked to a greater risk of the mother developing depression in that period as well, according to a study published Tuesday.

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Dr. Michelle Golland, clinical psychologist and momlogic contributor, says, "Interestingly, men's hormones change both during and after a pregnancy. Their testosterone levels go down, and their estrogen levels go up. We don't really know why the hormones shift in men, but researchers speculate that it is nature's way of helping men bond with the baby, and it helps them be less aggressive at a critical time in the mother's and child's life. Fathers can also experience negative emotions toward the baby, similar to mothers with PPD. They may feel very disconnected from the child andwant to get out of the house."

Dr. Golland says that men sometimes avoid seeking mental-health services because they feel it's "going out of their comfort zone in regards to how to cope with stress in their life."

That said, Dr. Golland says it's imperative that we learn to recognize depression and anxiety issues in our husbands and partners, and encourage them to get the help they need.

Keep on the lookout for these symptoms and risk factors of male PPD:

  • A history of depression
  • Wife is diagnosed with postpartum depression
  • Lack of support
  • Sick or challenging baby
  • Financial concerns and pressure

The more people that are aware of male PPD, the more depressed dads will get the help they need to get through it. Spread the word!


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177 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jacqueline May 18, 2010, 4:33 PM

I think guys suffering from post partum depression is a crock.

Anonymous May 18, 2010, 5:46 PM

I do believe men can get it. My husband was really down and had to open every blind in the house to let the sun in. He always liked them closed and said being in the house was depressing. I think it was not full out depression just baby blues and he got over it in a week or 2

Roman May 18, 2010, 7:09 PM

What else should be addressed is the sense of loss a hudband feels their wife miscarries.

We lost two and I’ll tell you it was a pretty difficult time for me with no outside resources to turn to.

Fortunately my wife had me, family and close friends for her which I was very thankful for.

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