Dads Get Postpartum Blues Too

dad and pregnancyYou know that new moms often experience depression and severe mood swings, but now new research confirms new dads feel the baby blues, too — and it may change how they parent.

Authors of a new study published in the April issue of Pediatrics interviewed  more than 1,700 dads of 1-year-olds and found that 7 percent of those dads experienced depression. That said, depressed moms outnumber depressed dads…by a lot. About 80 percent of new moms experience the baby blues, and 10 percent suffer from full-blown postpartum depression (PPD) in the first year.

The interesting aspect of this study is that the University of Michigan researchers found that in some instances, depressed dads treated their kids differently. While all of the dads, regardless of their mood, were equally likely to engage in interactive play, singing, and rhymes with their kids, depressed dads were nearly 4 times as likely to spank their kids and 62 percent less likely to read to their kids. Previous research has shown that depressed moms are more likely to spank their kids, too, but in both cases many other factors may be involved in the increase of spanking.

So, whether you’re feeling the blues yourself, or if you partner is, be sure to talk to your doctor, or even your child’s pediatrician about your feelings. PPD and the baby blues are treatable.

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  1. by B-The Parent

    On March 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    This study does not surprise me. I have been trying to get parents to use tools rather that spanking for the last 16 years. The Trouble Spot takes away that frustration of behavior modification for toddlers and their parents. New parents are going through a big life adjustment when kids come it is no wonder that depression is likely.

  2. by Mish

    On March 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    At least cite the article that you mercilessly ripped apart to make your post! Otherwise thia teaters on the precipice of plagiarism.

  3. by EditorJK

    On March 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

    We were just reporting on a brand new study that was published in the April issue of Pediatrics, as stated in the post. You can see more about this on Reuters in an article from 3/14/11: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-depressed-dads-idUSTRE72D1FM20110314

  4. by Zoe Matthews

    On May 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    All fellows, Jock and the Laird.