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New dads also at risk for postpartum depression

03-15-2011 14:01 BJT

BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhuanet) — Just like many women who suffer from postpartum depression, new dads can also be depressed, according to a recent observational research.

This study, based on more than 1,700 fathers of one-year-olds, found that as many as 1 in 25 new dads are affected by postpartum depression and a surprising number of them have spanked their children. Severe cases can even be connected with suicide or killing children in a high-profile way.

"Many people might imagine only women can become depressed after a baby’s birth but this just isn’t true, " Spokeswoman Beth Murphy said.

Though men have not experienced pregnancy or delivery, they are expected to be increasingly involved, from giving up smoking, attending each scan to feeling the pain of childbirth.

"The causes of depression in men include the pressures of fatherhood, increased responsibility, the expense of having children and the change in life-style that it brings can all be triggers. Added to this is the changed relationship with their partners, as well as lack of sleep and increased workload at home," Beth Murphy continued.

"With fathers increasingly spending time on child care, including taking their kids to routine doctor visits, it's important for pediatricians to pay attention to dads' mental health," said Garfield, an assistant pediatrics professor at Northwestern University and co-author of a Pediatrics editorial.

Getting help from pediatricians can be a good way to ease depression, as 77% of the depressed dads reported having talked to their child's doctor in the prior year, according to experts of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

They also recommended in their paper that pediatricians " should consider screening fathers for depression, discussing specific parenting behaviors (e.g., reading to children and appropriate discipline), and referring for treatment if appropriate."



Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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