Dads get postpartum depression too
We've all heard about new mothers experiencing postpartum depression after having a baby. But are new fathers prone to the blues too? The answer appears to be yes, according to a new study.
James Paulson of the Eastern Virginia Medical School analyzed data collected on 28,004 men who participated in 43 studies examining the question. In a paper published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers report:
--About 10 percent of fathers experience depression between the first trimester of their wives' pregnancies and the first year after the birth, compared to only about 4.8 percent of men in the general population.
--Men were most likely to become depressed in the first three to six months after the baby's birth, when the rate was 25.6 percent.
--U.S. men are more likely than those in other countries to experience depression. The rate is 14.1 percent in the United States, compared to 8.2 percent internationally.
The researchers say the findings indicate that more attention should be paid to the issue, especially because there is good evidence that depression among fathers can negatively affect their children emotionally, behaviorally and developmentally.
May 19, 2010; 8:52 AM ET
Categories: Mental Health , Motherhood
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