Most men have always described the wait for their wife to deliver as a joyous moment, but study shows that there are some who face a higher risk of depression.
The study states that the to-be dads may depict depression symptoms in the event of poor health or if they get stressed. Contrary to most people’s expectations, these symptoms may advance further upon delivery of the baby, reports CNN.
For a long time, health experts have appreciated that mothers can suffer from pre- and postpartum depression, with the hormone changes being blamed for this.
But now the fathers have also been included in the depression risk list after detailed research.
The study was done
To conduct the research, the study experts took in 3,523 men hailing from New Zealand. These men were interviewed during their partner’s pregnancy duration and then re-interviewed them nine months later after the baby was born.
The study was done from 2009 to 2010.
The participant’s ages was averaged to be 33 years and were asked questions designed to measure symptoms of depression. They provided answers that shed some light on their health, stress and family environment.
Symptoms of elevated prenatal depression was recorded in 2.3 percent of the participants, representing 82 fathers, while elevated postnatal depression symptoms could be traced in 4.3% of the fathers.
Lisa Underwood, the study co-author, said that the results found were in line with past studies done in countries like the US.
The researchers said that the depression symptoms were due to social and relationship issues as well as family history of depression.
The research fellow at the University of Auckland in New Zealand said that they were perplexed to learn that for most men, ethnicity, unplanned pregnancy and anxiety could not be linked to antenatal or postnatal paternal depression.
But this study had its own set of limitations.
For instance, the researchers did not conduct a full depression diagnosis but opted to use brief screening measures.
Also, many of the participants were interviewed in the pregnancy’s third trimester and then after delivery, implying the results may not give a reflection of what happens in the first and second trimesters.
Happy Dads make their children happy
A past study done in 2008 and published in the the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry revealed that mood of the dad has an impact on the child.
If a dad is stressed, he is likely to consume alcohol, or smoke, actions that can impact the growth of the baby.
In addition, a depressed dad can isolate himself from the mother, changing the child’s perception of how a marriage or relationship ought to be.
That makes it important for expectant fathers to seek for help before delivery. For fathers who historically get stressed when their partners are pregnant need to undergo an assessment. Additionally, men need to desist from smoking, especially when their partners are expectant and completely stop the behavior after the child is born.