10 things putting dads at risk for postpartum depression
Updated: Jul 18
This blog post is not meant to diagnose or treat illness. It is not meant to replace medical treatment or advice. Please contact your medical provider.
Postpartum depression in dads looks different. Read more about that here. Speaking of his own postpartum depression, my husband Jeremy said,
“You think that postpartum depression is sadness, but for me it was anger. Which may have been hiding sadness."
Let’s talk more about what increases dad’s risk factors for postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression comes in pairs
When we look at moms who have postpartum depression, 50% of their male partners also have postpartum depression. That means that if postpartum depression is happening in mom, dad is more likely to experience postpartum depression as well.
One of my favorite websites with information on postpartum depression in dads can be found here.
The in-law problem
During the first year of our son’s life, my mother in law would question Jeremy's interest in the baby - apparently he wasn't doing enough, and didn't like being a dad enough. The pervasive lack of support from his parents was another factor that put Jeremy at higher risk for postpartum depression.
Instead of pointing out how his parenting should be different, Jeremy wished someone would have said,
“I wished someone would have said you’re not crazy, this sucks. You’re not crazy for thinking that it sucks.”
What puts dad at higher risk for postpartum depression?
So what are the risk factors for dads having postpartum depression? Aka what makes a dad more likely to have postpartum depression? Thanks to this website for the list of risk factors. Let's take a look at them:
A continual lack of sleep
Changes in hormones
High-stress lifestyle, including career and family
Relationship tension with spouse
Poor relationship with in-laws
Lack of support from his own parents
Being part of a non-standard family (i.e., unmarried men or stepfathers)
History of depression
Feeling excluded from the bond between mother and child
How to get rid of risk factors
When we look at that list of those 10 risk factors, I as a personal postpartum specialist have the ability to either completely eliminate or significantly reduce the impact of at least 50% of them. I make postpartum depression less likely in dads.
By cooking all your food, giving you new infant care techniques, mobilizing your community to help I your home and more, POOF! Half of those risk factors are taken care of. Of the postpartum period, Jeremy said,
I wanted someone to watch my baby and give me a break from that difficult new reality.
I'm here for you and I can help. Visit the home page to set up a consultation on how I can help.
Suspect dad may be depressed? Please also visit this post for a list of resources. Its not your fault and there is hope.