Paternal Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a real and significant issue for new mothers. It's crucial to acknowledge that new fathers can also experience postpartum depression and should receive the support and understanding they need.

Yes, fathers can experience postpartum depression and baby blues. Postpartum depression is often associated with new mothers, but it can also affect fathers.

During pregnancy and after giving birth, a mother experiences physical, mental, and hormonal changes that can lead to baby blues and postpartum depression. So, how does this impact a father? What could lead to paternal postpartum depression?

Paternal postpartum depression causes,

1) Hormonal Changes: Some research suggests that expectant fathers experience declines in hormones like testosterone and estradiol during their partner's pregnancy and after childbirth. More studies are required on certain hormonal changes leading to baby blues and depression.

2) Sleep Deprivation: The most common thing among new parents is the lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation along with daily responsibilities can lead to mood swings and depression.

3) Increased Stress: Entry of a little angel comes with new responsibilities. Changes in routine, changes in family dynamics, etc can increase stress if not planned well.

4) Emotional Adjustment: Partners can feel the changes in the relationship and it could be challenging if not managed well. Emotional adjustment to new roles could be challenging.

5) Lack of Support: One myth is that men are strong and they don't cry but they ease things for the family. Hidden inside men feel society's pressure to be strong and supportive and most times they suppress their emotions or don't seek support.

6) Increased Financial Need: Father does feel the pressure of earnings to manage additional expenses. Raising a baby means taking care of vaccinations, diapers, routine check-ups, etc increases additional financial requirements. Only working men in the family with limited earnings can create pressure on the father.

Remember, the above causes are not a guideline that if happens then the father will feel baby blues or will get into parental depression. But causes can lead to a situation. 


Signs and Symptoms

1) Mood swings like unexplained sadness, anger, or irritability.

2) Fatigue Persistent tiredness not just because of sleep deprivation creates fatigue.

3) Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, disinterest in spending time with the baby and family.

4) Sleep issues on either side, be it insomnia or excessive sleeping.

5) Guilt or worthlessness feelings as a parent.

6) Anxiety due to excessive worry about the baby's health and well-being

7) Disengagement from the family and friends. No interest in social activities.

8) Physical symptoms and complaints without clear cause like headaches, stomach problems, etc.


It is advisable to deal with depression with the help of healthcare professionals only. And some self-care includes,

1) Important to acknowledge feelings. Recognize and accept feelings.

2) Talk about low feelings or unwanted thoughts with your partner, family, and friends.

3) It is important to follow a healthy diet along with physical activity be it playing sports or exercise.

4) Advisable to eliminate the consumption of alcohol, drugs, and smoking as it sparks depression and anxiety.

5) Once the baby is there, and feels like having my time then seek the help of elders to take care of the baby for some time and involve yourself with activities you enjoy.


Be it baby blues or depression, it is good to seek professional help and advice to get into a worse situation.

> Seek therapy or counseling from a professional psychiatrist.

> It is a good idea to join a support group of new fathers to exchange experiences and ways to manage new responsibilities.


Seeking support from partner & family,

>> Partners should maintain open and transparent communication without placing blame on each other. Open communication to discuss feelings and experiences can provide support when taking on new roles and responsibilities.

>> Parents should seek to share responsibilities, especially in a nuclear family.

>> Family members can support and encourage a father or mother to seek professional help if persistent symptoms are observed.


Parenting is a joyful and rewarding experience, and nothing brings more happiness than raising a child. However, it's important to recognize that paternal postpartum depression is real, just like postpartum depression among mothers. It's essential to openly address mental health, and partners can support each other or seek help from family when needed.



Note -- Blog content is derived after reading various material available online and using AI tools to comprise a summary on the topic. 

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