Mamas on Bedrest: Depression in Dads

April 16th, 2014

Greetings Mamas!

I have a question for you. Could your partner be depressed? A recent study has noted that as many as 5-10% of dads become depressed following the birth of their children and remain in a depressed state sometimes until the child goes into kindergarten! Even more alarming, young dads-men who become dads in their 20’s-are at increased risk of becoming depressed and have a 68% risk of increasing depression for the first 5 years following the birth of their children.

This is really sad to hear. At a time when we would expect joy, many men are experiencing sadness/depression. The researchers who are reporting this work in the May 2014 edition of Pediatrics, Craig Garfield, MD, Associate Professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Eric Lewandowski, PhD, Clinical Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychology at NYU Langone Medical Center, say that there is so little data upon which to draw that much more research needs to be done to figure out is this more prevalent in younger men because they feel ill equipped to be fathers? Are they stressed out about providing for their families? Are they worried about finances? The reasons are likely multifactorial and the truth is that we really don’t have any of these answers. We also don’t know if these rates hold for dads in their 30’s, 40’s or beyond. Again, much more research needs to be done.

I Wrote a blog several years ago about depression in dads and in that post shared some signs and symptoms of depression in Dads. It is critical that depression in dads be identified and treated as dads’ interaction (or lack there of) with their children can have long lasting developmental effects on the child.

Having a baby is a major life changing event and while the focus of this website is on mamas, we have to be aware of the fact that the birth of a child affects everyone-mamas, dads, siblings and even pets! The addition of a new family member completely alters the family dynamic such change needs to be acknowledged and supported for all family members.

So keep this information in your memory bank. I hope that you won’t need it, but if you do, I hope that it will help you to find the support and resources that you need to help the man that you love.

If this blog helps you, please be sure to let us know in the comments section below. If you have a resource to help dads, please share it in the comments section. If you have a question that you would like to submit privately, please send it to


Young Dads at Risk of Depressive Symptoms, Study Finds. MedlinePlus


6 responses to “Mamas on Bedrest: Depression in Dads”

  1. PSI has a weekly chat for dads. This can be to support their partners, or to seem support themselves.

  2. Darline says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this info! Glad there is support out there for dads!

  3. Depression says:

    I don’t think anybody ever takes into consideration the dad’s feelings about new babies. We are just supposed to go on with daily life and accept the changes for what they are. Depression in dad’s is a very common occurrence that is often ignored and not treated.

  4. Darline says:

    You are so right. Until very recently, depression in dads was unheard of. And it’s effects are so potent on the entire family that we have all been remiss in not being more alert for the signs and symptoms in dads. It’s still an emerging topic, but one that is getting much more exposure. Just doing my part here on behalf of “Dads on Bedrest”. Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. nice says:

    Depression in dad’s is a very common occurrence that is often ignored and not treated.

  6. Darline says:

    so true. We must be more diligent in addressing the needs of dads during pregnancy as well. They are just as affected.

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