I haven’t blogged about this important topic–of dads getting postpartum depression (PPD) too–since 2012, so it’s high time I do so now as I’m catching up during my stay-cation!
My previous posts are:
Fathers and Postpartum Depression
A Father’s Day Post: The Effect of PPD on the Dad
Shame on You, The Guardian, for Perpetuating Negative Notions on Mental Health Issues and Denigrating Men at the Same Time
In today’s post, I have a bunch of articles, and even a recent Today Show segment about PPD in dads, that I’d like to share. PPD in dads is not a topic that you see much of because, after all, it’s the new mother whose body goes through a lot of physical changes before, during and after pregnancy. After all, she’s the one who carries the child for months and after giving birth experiences roller coaster emotions, thanks to all the hormonal changes. It’s bad enough that PPD is still so misunderstood (and what comes with lack of knowledge/understanding is stigma) in women, but the scoffing that men face when they find themselves suffering from PPD is even worse.
Men can and do experience depression after a child’s birth. Risk factors include a personal history of depression, a wife that has PPD, a baby with health issues, colicky baby, first-time fatherhood and uncertainties due to inexperience, stress at work, etc. I personally know someone who experienced it briefly after the birth of his first daughter, and he was fortunately able to avoid it after his second daughter was born.
The Today Show that aired on August 3rd focused on the story of Dr. David Levine, a pediatrician who also happened to be a new father who suffered from PPD. Dr. Levine, who talks about his experience with PPD, is accompanied by subject matter expert, Dr. Catherine Birndorf (psychiatrist and co-founder of The Motherhood Center) whom I’ve met previously at a Postpartum Support International conference, and Erika Cheng (assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine).
This is not, by the way, the first time the Today Show has focused on PPD in men. On July 1, 2015, there was a very good article on it titled “Not just moms: postpartum depression affects 1 in 10 new fathers.” The article features the experience of Mark Williams, founder of Fathers Reaching Out and Dads Matter UK. The article also features information about PPD in fathers by subject matter expert Dr. Will Courtenay, who founded Postpartum Men.
On August 11, 2018, I spotted a CBC (Canada) article about PPD in men titled “New dads show signs of postpartum depression too, experts say.”
On May 19, 2017, I spotted a Deadspin article titled “A Q&A with Tony Reali About Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in Dads.” I know this article is a bit old….I have had this article up for the past 15 months! I told you I had a lot of catching up to do! Tony Reali is the host of ESPN’s Around the Horn.