How can men or domestic partners suffer from Postpartum Depression? They do not experience the hormonal shifts of pregnancy; they do not carry the baby. Yet many of the risk factors we associate with the development of depression or anxiety in new mothers also apply to partners who are faced with the multiple tasks of new parenthood.
What are those risk factors? Financial problems, poor partner relationships, lack of social and practical support, health problems, recent family loss, employment difficulties and increased responsibilities. If the new mother is herself struggling with a perinatal mood disorder, than the worry about and loss of a crucial supportive relationship is added to the mix. In addition, men are held to a standard of fatherhood which offers little empathy for problems they may experience in their new role. To hear more about this phenomena, listen to this audiocast:
Postpartum Support International, the world’s number resource for social support, is now offering a live “Chat with the Experts” session for men each Monday. Check their website (www.postpartum.net)for times and codes to join this free and anonymous call! The first Chat for Dads will be this Monday, February 24th, facilitiated by Dr. Will Courtenay. Will is a psychotherapist, writer, researcher, and founder of www.SadDaddy.com. The following Monday, March 2nd, the call will be facilitated by Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW