Family Magazine

Post-Partum Dads

By Newsanchormom

Post-Partum DadsI can totally see this. It is so hard to be a new parent. Moms usually get all the attention. I am sure it's hard for dads too. It is so stressful!
FROM NBC: Post-Partum Depression often involves mothers, but fathers are at risk, too. In a University of Michigan study of more than 1700 fathers of toddlers, seven percent had depression. Compared to other dads, depressed fathers were nearly four times more likely to say they spanked their child and were less likely to read books to their child. Researchers suggest pediatricians may be in a good position to look for depression in new fathers. and refer them to appropriate specialists.
FROM U.S. News:

If untreated, a father's postpartum depression can be harmful to the child as well as to both parents. Children born into such families receive less attention from the depressed parent and are at increased risk for developing physical and emotional problems, Paulson says. Depression in the father is thought to increase the likelihood that his children will act out or behave destructively. (Depression in the mother, by contrast, is associated with decreased overall health, learning problems, and a greater risk for developing depression.) Postpartum depression can typically be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination.

A partner's involvement is usually critical to identifying depression in a new father. "Often times, it will be the wife who is first to notice," says Berkeley, Calif., psychotherapist Will Courtenay, who specializes in men's health. "She'll say, 'He just hasn't been himself lately.' "

Vigilance is most called for when one's partner has been previously depressed. Having a history of depression or mental illness puts a father at greater risk of postpartum depression, as does having a spouse with postpartum depression. This is true even if the couple is separated, divorced, or unmarried, says Paulson, whose Eastern Virginia team earlier this year completed a study, now under peer review, involving noncohabitating parents.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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