June 29, 2021
While postpartum depression in new mothers is well documented, that of dads doesn’t get as much attention. Yet, according to a large study, published in the journal Pediatrics, both parents are at risk, especially if the child is admitted to the intensive care unit.
Postpartum depression isn’t just for women. Men can also be affected without necessarily realizing it. And if this situation is not taken care of, it can persist, impacting the health of the child. A recent report by l’American Academy of Pediatrics found that adverse childhood experiences, such as parental depression, are more likely to increase the risk of cognitive developmental delay.
Other research has shown that depressed fathers are less likely to engage in parenting activities such as reading but more inclined to spank.
Fathers, more fragile?
A team from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago investigated the risk of depression in more than 400 new parents whose babies were born prematurely and admitted to intensive care. They observed depressive symptoms in one in three women, and in 17% of men. But, interestingly, while these manifestations ended up decreasing significantly in most mothers over the weeks following the birth of the child, they remained the same in fathers, even after the family returned. at home.
« We must therefore pay more attention to the mental health of new fathers, during their babies’ stay in intensive care, and even after discharge. Says Dr. Craig F. Garfield, lead author of this work. ” The unexpected difference we found in the trajectory of depression symptoms between mothers and fathers after bringing their premature baby home underscores the importance of reaching out to dads, who might not be aware they need help. »
Source : Pediatrics, 18 juin 2021
Written by : Vincent Roche – Edited by: Emmanuel Ducreuzet