One out of every seven new mothers has post-natal depression; however, according to the Fatherhood Institute, one out of every ten fathers are depressed both before and after their baby is born.
Fathers experience post-natal depression because they tend to feel excluded and left out. The men are miserable because their partners aren’t paying enough attention to them, hormones, lack of sleep, increased responsibility, and perhaps their wife is also depressed. Fatherhood is a stressful life event that impacts fathers immensely and leaves many in shock. Like women, they can struggle with the rapid and huge life changes a baby brings.
Moreover, men with depression get mad, while women get sad. Drinking too much, self-medicating and having affairs can all be signs of fathers with depression. Currently, the fathers are not invited to the ante-natal appointments. When the pregnancy is confirmed the GP should invite both the mother and father to come in, this would help the father feel more included and could potentially help ease the depression. Research also indicates children are at increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems in families where fathers are depressed soon after the birth, the impact can be traced up to the age of 11. The key is to access support at the earliest available opportunity. Counseling, psychotherapy, cranial osteopathy, massage and reflexology are all seen as potentially therapeutic, as well as resting, eating properly and writing down feelings in a journal.
Article Title: Why Fathers Have Post-Natal Depression
Sources: “Why Fathers Have Post-Natal Depression” Philippa Roxby, May 27, 2011.
Student Name: Brenda Montanez, Sonoma State University
Evaluator: Erin Sullivan, PHD. Napa Valley College