(ABC News) — A new baby? A joy for Mom and Dad.
Unless, of course, your emotions have been short-circuited by depression. And the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and parenthood can complicate that picture.
Nearly one in five women experience some form of depression during or after pregnancy.
But now, new research suggesting that fathers, too, may get the blues.
Researchers in New Zealand followed 3,500 expecting couples, evaluating fathers to see if they experienced depression, and why.
Two percent of the men experienced depression during their partner’s pregnancy, and this number jumped to four percent after the baby was born.
The cause of the increase? The challenges of being a new father.
Women, of course, are rocked in part by the hormonal and physiological changes that they experience.
The new study also suggesting that in men, depression is often linked to external factors like stress and relationship status.
So while most of the focus in pregnancy is on the mom, it’s important to acknowledge that this time can be difficult for fathers as well as mothers.
Partners should look out for signs of depression in one another and get help if they are concerned.
For the baby’s sake, if not for their own.