Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paternal Postpartum Depression

From WSJ:

It's not just new moms who get postpartum depression. More than one in 10 fathers become depressed after the birth of their child, too, according to a new study that researchers said underscores the need for more awareness of men's depression.

Postpartum depression in mothers has been well-recognized, but much less attention has been focused on how new fathers fare. That's because women are usually the primary care givers and postpartum depression was considered a condition likely linked to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Experts say treating depression, whether it's in the mother or father, is important because it raises the risk for long-term behavioral and psychiatric problems in the child.

Researchers from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk sought to get an accurate estimate for what percentage of men experience depression in the year after their child was born, using commonly accepted depression measures. They conducted a statistical review of 43 previously published studies involving 28,000 male and female adults.

Some 10.4% of fathers experience depression during the postpartum period, the analysis showed. In the general population, 4.8% of men are believed depressed at any given point in time, according to government data.

For women, the rate of postpartum depression was estimated at nearly 24%, according to the new analysis, which was published Tuesday in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more here.

MR

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