(U.S.) – A recent report published by Cleveland Clinic notes moms aren’t the only ones susceptible to developing postpartum depression.
While the public typically associates the “baby blues” and postpartum depression with women, reports indicate new fathers can also experience serious mood changes after the new baby comes home too. About 10% of fathers experience paternal postnatal depression before or just after their baby is born, according to research published in the journal of the American Medical Association.
The report from the Cleveland Clinic explained the reason is in part due to biology. There is evidence that fathers also experience real changes in their hormone levels after a baby is born.
- Men may be used to being the focus of their partners’ attention and that changes when a baby enters the equation.
- Moms tend to quickly bond with babies while dads bond in different ways and it can take a while causing dad to feel like a third wheel.
- New dads can experience ‘provider pressure.’ They feel intense pressure to provide for the family, which can lead to increased stress in terms of finances and careers.
- There also tends to be a cultural expectation that new dads should be elated with joy and if they’re not quite feeling that yet, it can lead to a feeling of guilt.
- And most new parents tend to get little sleep and little sex. Lack of either can affect dad’s mood.
The Cleveland Clinic notes the following signs of depression in dads.
- Anger, irritability or aggression
- Loss of interest in work or favorite activities
- Working all the time
- Acting distant or withdrawing from family and friends
- Feeling frustrated, discouraged or cynical
- Feeling sad, hopeless or overwhelmed
Men who have a history of depression may also be at a greater risk of postpartum depression. Officials note that it is unfortunate for men to laugh at the idea of having postpartum depression, but t is real. A few self-care basics for new dads:
- Eat well
- Avoid drinking, gambling, and other reckless behaviors
- Talk about your feelings with someone