Dads Can Get Depression During and After Pregnancy, too
Depression in dads is, in fact, a relatively common phenomenon―affecting anywhere between 2% and 25% of them during their partner’s pregnancy or in the first year after birth.
According to some studies, this rate can increase to 50% when the mother also has perinatal/post-natal depression. And it can take a serious toll on the family’s wellbeing, specifically their children’s.
Risk Factors for Paternal Depression:
New demands and responsibilities during pregnancy and the post-natal period often cause major changes in a father’s life, too. There are risk factors that can affect the development of depression.
- Difficulty developing an attachment with the baby
- Lack of a good male role model
- Lack of social support or help from family and friends
- Changes in marital relationship, such as a partner’s lack of intimacy
- Feeling excluded and jealous over mother-child bonding
- Lack of rewards in parenting
- Maternal depression
- Financial and work stress
- Low testosterone
Symptoms of Paternal Depression:
Men may show different signs of depression. They may not cry but feel frustrated and angry. The depression may manifest itself in terms of irritability, impulsivity, and feeling unable to find pleasure in anything. Depressed fathers are more likely to engage in substance use, domestic violence, and discourage their partner from breastfeeding and/or breast pumping.