Unplanned pregnancy and ethnicity don’t affect the rates of pre- and postnatal depression among men.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Recent research has revealed that fathers-to-be have a higher risk of depression if they are very sick or stressed.
Also, the symptoms may become worse after the infant is born. The scientists have known for a long time that pre- and postnatal depression can affect mothers due to the hormone changes. Based on the latest findings, it seems that men can also experience these symptoms. During the new study, a group of experts from the University of Auckland has analyzed 3,532 male participants in New Zealand.
It is worth mentioning that all men had pregnant partners. The participants were interviewed before and after their children were born, in 2009 and 2010. The average age of the men was 33. During the interviews, the researchers aimed to identify depression symptoms.
The questions were about family environment, stress, and overall health. Based on the study findings, 82 fathers, or 2.3 percent, had elevated symptoms of prenatal depression. Also, other 153 of them, or 4.3 percent, had postnatal depression.
According to Lisa Underwood, the senior author and researcher fellow from the University of Auckland, previous studies have identified similar rates of prenatal and postnatal depression among new dads. The most common symptoms of depression were related to adverse relationship and social factors as well as a history of depression in the family.
Underwood noted that the men in New Zealand were not affected by other common factors, including anxiety, ethnicity, and unplanned pregnancy. The researchers added that the study had some limitations as well.
More precisely, they used only brief screenings to measure depression symptoms so they couldn’t diagnose the participants. The participants were interviewed just in the first three months of pregnancy and nine months after the child was born which means that the researchers didn’t know what symptoms the participants experienced in the meantime.
All things considered, the scientists hope that this study will help other doctors in their efforts of developing screening for fathers-to-be. Also, they will be helped to deal with pre- and postnatal depression.
Many of them think that they can deal with these symptoms on their own and don’t seek help. Left untreated, they could get worse and have a major impact on their family life.