Men Too Could Suffer From Baby Blues
02 Feb, 2011 - 05:13pm
A mother is known to suffer depression post baby birth, but do men suffer the baby blues too? A recent study suggests that it is possible in men too. The research was carried out by the researchers from the UK Medical Research Council and University College London and was funded by the UK MRC. It was published in the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.A number of factors can contribute to depression in men such as fear of fatherhood, new responsibilities, financial concerns and loss of sleep. And this depression could adversely affect the behavior and development of a child in such stressful environment. The researchers looked at about 87,000 families who received medical care between the year 1993 and 2007 and recorded the age of the parents during the birth of the baby. They also looked at levels of social deprivation using accepted index. The families were followed from the birth of their child to the time when the child was 12 years of age. The researchers used standard statistical methods to analyze the associations between the birth of the baby and depression in men. From the study it was found that 3% of the men suffered from depression and the level of depression was highest in the first year after the birth of the baby. The time when the child reached the age of four the depression in men rose to 10% and increased further to 16% when the child was eight years old. The depression level hit its highest i.e. 21% when the child was 12 years of age. The depression in women was even higher which has been known for quite some time now. About 13% of women suffered depression during the first year of the baby after which the levels kept on rising further. When the child was 4, the depression in women rose to 24% and it reached 33% when the child was eight. Similar to men the depression was highest when the child reached the age of 12. The researchers also noticed that a history of depression before parenthood, lower parental age of about 15 to 24 years at the birth of the child and living in areas of higher social deprivation contributed to a higher occurrence of depression. According to the researchers this is the first study that has assessed the incidence of depression in both mothers and fathers throughout the course of their offspring’s childhood. The study gains reliability from its large population size, longer duration of follow up and considering other factors such as social deprivation. Although as always there are some limitations to the study like ambiguity regarding the men whether they were fathers of the children or not, whether previous or subsequent birth affected depression rates or accounting for partner’s depression, relationship and stressful life events. As men are supposed to be strong they often don’t talk about their fears and problems resulting in depression. It will be of great help if both the partners involved in the pregnancy talk about their fears. The birth of a baby is not a small thing but with adequate support and care you can give your child a healthy and happy environment to live in.