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Fathers Affected by Depression As Much As Mothers

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When a baby is born and new parents are created, it can be a lot on a new mother. She has gone through a pregnancy, childbirth, and now she has this beautiful baby to care for. It’s no wonder that so many new moms go through a transition and often suffer from postnatal depression. What you may not realize however is that there are actually many fathers affected by depression too. Though many women tend to brush off this possibility, men can go through a lot emotionally and mentally to transition into their new role.


There is so much focus on the baby and the mother as she tries to recover from the whole experience, that fathers are often cast aside. Though this is a big transition for them, the main focus for everyone is on how the baby and new mom are doing. The pregnancy alone can be a lot for a man to deal with, but after the baby is born a man may be adjusting in his own way—and this can definitely help to explain just why there are so many fathers affected by depression.


Though women just think that this is a man’s cry for help in getting attention at a pivotal time, this is certainly something to be taken seriously. You must understand what the male goes through in this scenario, and be understanding that he may need some TLC or support throughout the process. At the very least a little understanding can go a long way, and therefore we look at what makes a man so prone to suffering from depression during an otherwise happy time. He may be dealing with one or more of the following situations:


Adjusting to a huge transition in life: Sometimes the only way to explain male depression after a baby is born is that this is a huge new adjustment to their life. Having a baby is an enormous transition for a woman, but also for a man—and it can also put a lot of stress on you as a couple. So understanding that the man is trying to cope with this new transition and still keep the relationship as normal as possible can go a long way in explaining his possible sadness.


Feeling unsure or not ready to handle the role of father: Quite simply put, some men feel really unsure about being a father. Either they don’t feel ready, they had a bad upbringing or role model, or they just second guess themselves. This is often expressed through fathers affected by depression because they are feeling unsure of themselves and how they will be as a father more than anything else. A little reassurance can really go a long way in helping to calm his fears and make him see that he’s going to be a wonderful father.


Having a baby that has health problems or trouble sleeping: If you are dealing with a baby that has significant issues, this can really manifest itself into depression for a man. He may not know how to cope with his baby’s health problems or even the idea of sleep deprivation. Though woman are often equipped to nurture and care for a baby that suffers from issues, men may struggle with this very challenging circumstance—and rather than feel happy, he may feel sad and confused with all of this transition in his life.


Getting accustomed to a new daily routine: He may feel that life as he once knew it is now gone. The idea of having dinner together as a couple just no longer is there. He may feel as if everything is upside down with the new addition and he isn’t sure how to cope with all of this. Though routine will come, he feels it’s a long ways off.


Not feeling sure of where they fit in: By far one of the biggest reasons that you see fathers affected by depression is that they don’t know their place. The mother may feel naturally drawn to the baby and therefore handles much of the responsibility. The father may feel unsure of what he is supposed to be doing, and may struggle with figuring out his role. The transition may be cumbersome for him and he may feel sad or even anxious throughout the process. In these cases, learning to reduce the risk for postpartum depression may help.