Well, this one really took me by surprise. If you think that postpartum depression is strictly a mommy-only affliction, you may be surprised to learn that it not only can affect men, but it may even affect more men than women. According to a new Australian study, the percentage of postpartum depression in men is slightly higher than it is for women. The study indicated that 9.7 percent of men may be affected by postpartum depression versus just 9.4 percent of women, with fathers under the age of 30 being particularly hard-hit.
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Postpartum Depression in Men
Fortunately men nowadays are taking on more parental responsibilities, but apparently this also puts them at a higher risk for postpartum depression. Becoming a dad means becoming responsible for another person’s safety, having to feed another mouth, and having to provide financially. Even though this is the same burden that an expectant mother has to bear, experts say an expectant father may feel more provider-anxiety because they are expected to make such a quick transition into a life-changing role. Another trigger for postpartum depression is lack of sleep, and lack of sleep is usually the most common complaint about having a newborn! Definitely have experience with that one.
I know that, as a new mom, I started adjusting to being a mother before my baby was even born. I was reading books, concentrating on what sort of crib and stroller I wanted to buy, and chatting with friends to get their tips. Marc was a hero and came with me to nearly every doctor’s appointment, but I know that for him, fatherhood truly was a shock.
To me, this new statistic is telling us mommies that although we might feel totally overwhelmed in caring for our little one, we have to look out for dad, too, because the new responsibilities might be weighing on him and he needs our support, just as we need his. You guys with me or not?