Men Get Depressed When Partner Is Pregnant

Recent research has revealed that fathers-to-be have a higher risk of depression if they are very sick or stressed. With this increased awareness and visibility, more new mums are aware of the risks and symptoms of postpartum depression (or even postpartum psychosis) - and therefore more likely to seek treatment if necessary. Aside from PDS, men also suffer from antenatal depression syndrome (ADS). They asked the men questions about their mental health prior to the births of their babies, and then again after the babies were born.

Brooke Shields (R) listens to Carol Blocker speak about her daughter who took her own life while battling wih postpartum depression on Capitol Hill May 11, 2007 in Washington DC.

Men who just had a newly born baby enter their lives or whose wives are pregnant and have just conceived may face full-fledged depression.

The researchers found elevated symptoms of prenatal depression in 82 fathers, or 2.3 per cent of the total participants. On the other hand, between 1 to 25 percent of men experience postpartum depression. It's estimated that about 14 percent of women experience depression after birth, with symptoms ranging from anger and anxiety to hopelessness and trouble bonding with a new baby. And similar to the new findings, marital relationship quality and stress are the dominant aspect of paternal depression.

Researchers don't know why some women are more vulnerable to postpartum depression, though they suspect genetics, previous mental health issues, and sleep deprivation after birth all could play a part. A 2015 report in the American Journal of Men's Health showed up to 13 percent of new dads report depressive symptoms, like agitation, anxiety, sadness, and stress, which are typically associated with the "baby blues" - the intense period of hormonal fluctuation moms experience after giving birth.

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You would think that postpartum depression would be limited to the human that literally parted ways with the baby growing inside of them - but as it turns out, dads can get symptoms of postpartum depression, too.

20% of females experience post partum depression. "Given the potential for paternal depression to have direct and indirect effects on children, it is important that we recognise and treat symptoms among fathers early".

What women experience, men might also experience while the partner is pregnant.

"There is no routine screening of women during pregnancy and none for fathers before or after the birth of their children, since they are not usually engaged in routine perinatal care", study author Lisa Underwood, from the University of Auckland, said in a statement from that university.

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