Can New Dads Get Postpartum Depression?

by in Parenting, Post Partum, Postpartum Depression

When you hear about Postpartum Depression you normally think of a new mom.

CNN has an interesting article about dads who are experiencing postpartum depression as well.

The news site spoke with Will Courtenay, a California-based psychotherapist, who is a leading expert in the United States on paternal postnatal depression.

He found that daddy depression

“comes as quite a shock to men who are expecting this wonderful time of baby bliss with the new baby and a time of bonding.”

“Each day in the U.S., 1,000 new dads become depressed, and according to some studies that number is as high as 3,000. That’s as many as one in four news dads who become depressed.”

A number of factors may cause the depressed feelings.

“It’s likely that sleep deprivation plays a major role,” he said. “Hormones may also play a role.” According to Courtenay, “It’s a double whammy. Not only do our testosterone levels go down, but our estrogen levels go up and these female hormones coursing through our body can really wreak havoc on a man’s functioning.” Although experts aren’t exactly sure, they theorize that these fluctuations may be similar to “sympathy pains” that individuals feel when someone they’re close to is hurting.

Will recommends:

  • men with a history of depression see a mental health professional before the birth of a child to work through any issues that are causing stress and anxiety.
  • couples to seek marital counseling ahead of time if they’re having trouble communicating.
  • couples should evaluate monetary resources before a new baby arrives.


Tags: , , ,

About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.