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Fathers Get the Baby Blues Too

Becoming a father is an exciting time, but adjusting to fatherhood can make it difficult to hold it together. With fears of appearing weak from sadness and exhaustion, dads get the baby blues, too.  

Male or paternal postpartum depression is quite common but rarely discussed. Research shows that one in every 10 new dads experience postpartum depression. Initial feelings of sadness can develop into more serious mental health disorders if untreated. 

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are anxiety-based disorders new parents may experience. They usually begin a few days after childbirth and can last up to 12 months.  

Male postpartum depression is very treatable with early intervention. Medication and/or talk therapy can lead dads to recovery and help them enjoy life with their new baby. 

Some risk factors for developing PMADs include a history of depression, relationship changes, single parenthood, birth trauma, a female partner’s postpartum depression, and financial and work stressors.  

Here are the symptoms and coping strategies: 


  • Anger and irritability 

  • Sleep deprivation 

  • Feeling overwhelmed 

  • Self-isolation  

  • Increased alcohol or drug use 

  • Emotional detachment from the child 

  • Decrease in pleasurable activities 

  • Ongoing sadness 

  • Thoughts of suicide 

Coping Strategies that encompass Total Fitness can help: 

  1. Get proper sleep and rest.  

  1. Eat healthy and exercise.  

  1. Reduce and/or eliminate alcohol use. Mood and energy levels improve with reduced usage. 

  1. Practice gratitude, meditate, or journal. 

  1. Ask for help. Sharing your feelings with loved ones lowers parental stress. 

  1. Get professional help. Seek a therapist or physician for treatment options. 

Contact New Parent Support Program, Family Advocacy Program, or Community Counseling Program for more information.

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