Sad Dads, Paternal Postnatal Depression
You’re probably asking yourself, what’s paternal postnatal depression, familiar with the baby blues and Post-Partum Depression, well it’s like that but for dads. There’s a silent sadness within our communities and about 10% of men worldwide experience signs of PPND as early as the first trimester of their partners pregnancy through 6 months after birth and beyond.
Did you know research has shown that there is an increased risk of PPND if dads partner is or has experienced Postpartum Depression or the Baby Blues. This increased risk of PPND rises to 26% once baby reaches 3-6 months when mom typically is preparing to go back to work or school and life for the family dynamic changes again.
Studies have also shown that PPND is more common in dads who may stay at home, unemployed, have issues within the relationship, have a history of depression, or are black or Hispanic. Other factors such as concerns over finances, feeling left out, unsure of their new role as a father, and fear of making mistakes can elevate symptoms of PPND which include:
· Low energy
· Behavioral changes
· Increase chance of using alcohol or drugs
So what causes PPND.
Some studies have shown that there’s a hormonal fluctuation factor that contributes similar to that of mothers.
What support is out there?
Start on the inside, dad could benefit greatly from a healthy diet, sleep, exercise and a postpartum doula. It’s important for fathers to not only have the time to engage in activities that bring joy or spending time with his partner baby free (that’s where Bump to Birth Doula Services comes in) but it’s important for dads to have brave spaces to discuss his feelings with family, friends, and his partner. Dads should also seek help from a trusted care professional or therapist.
Have you or someone you’ve known experienced Paternal Postnatal Depression, share what helped in the comments below.