Home / Motherhood / Postpartum Depression Can Strike Fathers as well as Mothers
Postpartum Depression Can Strike Fathers as well as Mothers

Postpartum Depression Can Strike Fathers as well as Mothers

Brodsky said it’s helpful if new fathers have someone they can confide in, whether that’s the mother of their child, a friend, relative, or a coworker.

New fathers can also take advantage of the baby’s checkups to talk with their child’s pediatrician about feeling overwhelmed. For new fathers who are feeling more desperate or in urgent need of help, support is available through employee assistance programs at many workplaces or national hotlines such as 1-800-273-TALK,” said Brodsky.

Without treatment, things can escalate.

“When there’s complete neglect of our own health and safety, and thoughts of self-harm, we can’t take care of ourselves and this can reflect on the kids,” said Shapiro.

Men should seek treatment for postpartum depression just as they would for a physical problem, said Shapiro.

“I always give the example that you use medicine when you have a headache or infection. It’s the same thing when the brain has a chemical imbalance we can treat with medicine,” he continued.

“We need a bridge to talking with someone to align thoughts and feelings. If there’s a chemical reaction inside the brain making this harder to treat, then we need to do both, in some cases, to improve the health of the entire family,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro suggests that pediatricians should screen for general depression in the first months when they see parents.

“Many see their pediatrician more often than they do their own doctors. Pediatricians need to be alert. We need to have objective screening like we ask moms to answer, be open for it, knowing if someone has a high score, what to do with it. Here we do have a psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, but it depends where you are. Just looking for and being conscious that something could be wrong is important for everybody,” he said.

“There are a lot of stigmas, but treating postpartum depression makes a huge difference,” said Shapiro.