Dads Get Postpartum Depression, Too
10% of New Dads Become Depressed Before or After Baby’s Birth, Researchers Say
Men Get Baby Blues, Too
Some new mothers get “baby blues” in the first few weeks after they deliver. Baby blues are transient and not serious. They can make women feel weepy, emotional, and anxious and may be linked to hormonal changes after birth.
Dads may also get the baby blues, Paulson says. “I would suspect that there is something like [the baby blues in dads], but it has not been clearly documented,” he says.
Richard M. Glass, MD, deputy editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, tells WebMD that the message is to be alert and aware of the signs of depression in fathers.
“Recognize that there is such a thing as prenatal and postpartum depression in dads, and if you are concerned about what is going on with dad, seek an evaluation," he says.
Glass said that sleep loss could be a factor in postpartum depression in dads, given the fact that depression in dads tended to peak three to six months after birth.
“The first few months are filled with the joy of bringing the infant home, and after a few months things get kind of tough,” he says. “But a lot of people get through without developing issues and others may be more vulnerable.” Certain vulnerability factors within families may tip the scale toward depression among new parents, he says.