Report suggests fathers should be screened for Postpartum Depression

(U.S.) – According to a recent report published by Reuters Health, screening fathers for postpartum depression is as important as screening mothers.

The report argues that a publication issued in the journal of Pediatrics encourages guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) that recommend that pediatricians take the opportunity of well-child visits to also screen mothers for postpartum depression. However, Reuters Health officials note there is hardly any mention of screening fathers during those visits as well.

Officials indicate that depression symptoms in fathers in the first year after their child is born are considered paternal postpartum depression. Studies estimate anywhere from 2% to 25% of fathers are affected. Additionally, experts indicate fathers are also statistically less likely than mothers to ask for help while also being less aware about paternal depression.

Guidelines from the AAP recommend that pediatricians screen mothers during well-child visits in the first, second, fourth, and six months. The guidelines also note to “consider screening the partner as well” at the six-month visit.

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