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Fear Over Men's 'birth Blues'


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
Post-natal depression in fathers can have a serious effect on children's future behaviour and emotional development and particularly affects sons, researchers say today.

A study from Bristol University's Children of the 90s project confirms that post-natal depression is experienced by a significant number of men.

The condition is said to affect about one mother in 10 but the problem is less well recognised, and more controversial, in new fathers. Some researchers estimate that between three and 10 per cent of men are affected.

The study in The Lancet says post-natal depression needs to be recognised and treated not least for the effect it may have on the men's sons.

Baby girls and boys can be affected by depression in their parents but boys of depressed fathers appeared twice as likely to develop behavioural problems by age three-and-a-half than other boys.

In the study of nearly 14,000 families, a standard measure for depression was taken eight weeks after the birth. Among 8,430 fathers, 303 or 3.6 per cent were found to be depressed. Among new mothers it was 10.2 per cent. The men described feelings of anxiety, mood swings, irritability and hopelessness.