A new study revealed that dads might also experience depression during and after pregnancy. Expectant fathers can experience similar symptoms to soon-to-be moms. The research developed in New Zealand revealed that new fathers who have a poor state of health or who fight with an increased level of stress might experience depression.
Lisa Underwood, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Auckland, argued that it is significant for fathers to recognize the symptoms they experience, trying to treat them. The first step is to increase awareness. Only some men know that they may experience depression when becoming fathers.
The survey made use of data coming from about 3,500 participants, men with the average age of 33 years old. They were interviewed during their partner’s pregnancy, in her third semester. Then, after nine months after their baby was born, they have interviewed again. The results of the survey indicated that approximately 2.3 % of the men who participated in the study reported symptoms of depression during their partner’s pregnancy.
Nevertheless, about 4.3% of the fathers indicated depression symptoms, nine months after their infant was born. The study conducted by Underwood’s team noted that those males who were usually stressed or who had a poor health were more likely to be exposed to depression symptoms. However, after the child was born, fathers who were in a poor state of health or who had a history of depression indicated an even higher risk of depressive disorder.
Some of them who maybe got unemployed or who were no longer in a relationship with the mother of their baby had presented stronger symptoms of depression. Social and relationship factors influenced their behavior and mental health. Dr. Tina Walch, a medical director at South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, in New York, argued that generally, mothers are informed about postpartum depression, while most fathers are not aware of the role of parental depression in families.
The first step toward preventing and treating depression is to be able to understand it and find its symptoms to annihilate it. Healthcare officials should raise awareness among new moms and dads, informing them about the possible symptoms which may occur during and after pregnancy to improve the health outcomes of mother, fathers and their children.
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