Women are not the only group that can suffer postpartum depression as a new study has revealed that even fathers-to-be can also face a significant risk of developing this condition.
While the stigma around postpartum depression is fading away and many new mothers are openly discussing their condition and are reaching out for help; few know that this disorder also affects new fathers.
The new study, based on data on 3,523 men in New Zealand who were interviewed while their partners were pregnant and then 9 months after their child was born in 2009 and 2010, suggested that fathers-to-be can also be at risk of depression if they feel anxious/stressed or are in poor health.
The researchers found elevated symptoms of prenatal depression in 82 fathers, or 2.3 per cent of the total participants. Elevated postnatal depression symptoms were found in 153 individuals or 4.3 per cent of the participants.
University of Auckland research fellow Lisa Underwood, who led the study, said, “The rates of antenatal and postnatal paternal depression that we found are consistent with previous similar studies in other countries including the US.”
The researchers detailed their findings in the Wednesday (February 15th) issue of the prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry.