Postnatal depression is a common problem for women who just gave birth. Apparently, new fathers can be affected by this condition too. A new study shows that men can also suffer from depression when their partner is pregnant or just gave birth.
This study showed that men can suffer from antenatal depression if they have a health problem or if they are too stressed. While women mostly experience postnatal depression, men can suffer from depression even before their baby is born.
The study took place in New Zealand and was conducted by researchers from the University of Auckland. Scientists analyzed more than 3,500 men. All of the participants had a pregnant partner. In order to find how pregnancy affects new fathers and fathers-to-be, researchers interviewed the participants before and after their babies were born.
The interviews were taken in 2009, before the birth, and in 2010, after the birth. The age of the participants was around 33. The questions that were put in the interviews included stress levels, overall health, and family environment.
The findings showed that 2.3%, or 82 participants, suffered from prenatal depression. Moreover, 4.3% of new fathers experienced postnatal depression. According to the senior author of the study, Lisa Underwood, previous studies showed similar levels of depression among new fathers.
The symptoms that affect new fathers are related to social factors, adverse relationships, and a history of depression. The researchers mentioned that none of the participants were affected by other factors like unplanned pregnancy or anxiety.
Scientists noted that the interviews were taken in the first 3 months of pregnancy and more than 9 months after a baby was born. This means that the researchers did not find out how the participants felt in the meantime.
The scientists who conducted this study hope to help fathers-to-be and new fathers understand more about prenatal and postnatal depression. They also hope that these conditions will be taken more seriously because they can affect both parents.
Due to the fact that the majority of new fathers don’t seek medical attention for this problem, it can make the condition get worse. This can have a major impact on their life, especially their family.
What is our opinion about this study? Did you know that postnatal depression can affect new fathers?
Image source: Pixabay