Men Get Depressed When Partner Is Pregnant

The London Economic

Men who are depressed when their partner is pregnant are those that are already stressed, or else are in poor health. Based on the latest findings, it seems that men can also experience these symptoms.

According to the researchers, it may have to do with men's level of health and perceived stress in cases where depression symptoms were high during their partner's pregnancy. Postnatal depression syndrome (PDS) isn't just experienced by women.

With celebrity mums from Adele to Hayden Panettiere opening up about their struggles with postpartum depression, we've finally reached an era in which the surprisingly common condition is out of the shadows and into the public eye.

University of Auckland research fellow Lisa Underwood, who led the study, said, "The rates of antenatal and postnatal paternal depression that we found are consistent with previous similar studies in other countries including the USA".

"When you think that there are 60,000 New Zealand births each year, we're talking about almost 1400 children affected, potentially, by anti-natal paternal depression and more than 2500 New Zealand children affected by paternal post-natal depression, each year". Since men were interviewed only during third trimester of pregnancy and nine months after giving birth, the results might not reveal what could be discover during the first two trimesters or the period immediately after giving birth.

"Yet, interest in perinatal depression has focused on women despite policies to improve the sex balance in research".

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It found that 2.3 percent of fathers (one in 43) experienced depression during the pregnancy, increasing to 4.3 percent (one in 23) nine months after their child was born.

And 43 in 1,000 reported similar feelings nine months after the birth. (In the United States, it's estimated to affect between 11% and 20% of new mothers.) And they're not much different from the rate of depression in the general population. They asked the men questions about their mental health prior to the births of their babies, and then again after the babies were born.

"Discussing the risks of depression with expectant mothers and fathers would provide information about where to seek help and social support should one of them develop symptoms", the authors wrote.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America defines depression as a condition where a person feels unmotivated, hopeless, sad, discouraged, or generally not interested in life.

"This suggests that only at-risk men would benefit from intervention, but all pregnant women, regardless of meeting the criteria for a clinical diagnosis, may benefit from support".

"Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the influence that fathers have on their children's psychosocial and cognitive development".

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