The birth of a baby is characterized with a series of powerful emotions. The emotions vary across all sensations that range from joy, fear to anxiety. However, this can also result in unexpected emotions like stress and depression. Postnatal depression can be described as an intense clinical depression that is experienced soon after birth. There are various symptoms that are characteristic of this depression. They include anxiety, sadness, fatigue and irritability 1, 3. This is a mental disorder that can affect anyone. It is very common among mothers but it has also been experienced in fathers.
There are various factors that can cause postnatal depression in dads. This can be caused by one factor of a combination of various factors 2. Some of the factors that can cause this depression among dads include biological configurations, family history, life experiences, environment and the personality of an individual. This can be a very difficult experience especially among the dads. This is because becoming a new parent can be very overwhelming. This also comes with various social and cultural challenges that may command massive change of lifestyle and experience 1, 3. If this depression is not handled appropriately among the new dads it can lead to massive psychological effects.
Fatherhood is usually associated with a lot of responsibility and hard work. This is because fathers are usually seen as the bread winners in a family. When a child is born, the father is usually relied upon as the provider of both the mother and the child. This is likely to lead to postnatal depression. This is because an individual is likely to experience new financial responsibilities. This can lead to a feeling of being strained from the normal conditions among the fathers. This is especially evident among the first time fathers. This can be experienced especially among the low income earners 2, 3.
In order to have a stable family, it is important that both partners are able to understand each other well. Postnatal depression can come up as a result of a strained relationship between the father and the mother of a baby. This can affect the fathers because sometimes there is a feeling that a child will be brought up in an emotive environment. The strained relationships may also be as a result of unresolved issues in the marriage. Sometimes the parents may feel that they are incompatible and there is the speculation of divorce. This makes the parents to feel extreme emotional sensations because of the position of the child in case such incidences occur.
Fathers can experience postnatal depression because of the lack of emotional and social support. Having peers who are already parents is very important in coping up with the emotions that are related to parenting. If an individual lacks this support, he is likely to experience several challenges that are as a result of the lack of parenting experience 3. Smooth transition into parenthood is one of the most practical and realistic ways of mitigating stress. Therefore, having peer orientation into parenthood is very crucial towards controlling postnatal depression in fathers.
If a marital partner is experiencing depression, it is also likely to affect the other partner. Therefore, if a mother is experiences a lot of stress after, the father is also likely follow suit by experiencing the same depression 3. This is because an individual is likely to feel extra pressure in trying to manage a partner who is feeling unwell. This may also be as a result of the expression of lack of satisfaction on the partner. Therefore, in trying to acquire comfort for the family, an individual is likely to undergo moments of extreme emotional sensation.
- CMHA. Postpartum Depression. Canadian Mental health Association. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cmha.ca
- PANDA. Postnatal Depression and Anxiety in Dads. Post and Antenatal Depression Association. 2014. Retrieved from http://www.howisdadgoing.org.au
- NCT. Postnatal Depression in Dads. NCT United Kingdom. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.nct.org.uk