It’s common for new fathers to experience joy, excitement, stress and fear while adjusting to parenthood. Did you know that 10% of new fathers suffer from Postpartum Depression (PPD) and 50% when mom is depressed too? Most people are not aware, including the fathers experiencing it.
In honour of World Mental Health Day, on October 10th, we would like to bring awareness to this often stigmatized issue. Here’s what Public Health Nurses from our Fathering Committee share:
Recognizing PPD in fathers is important because it may affect their children. For example, children and teenagers whose fathers are involved have better peer relationships, have a higher self-esteem and greater life satisfaction. Also, having an involved father lowers depression, anxiety, and self-doubt and is important for the development of empathy.
Risk factors for PPD in fathers may include:
- feeling the need to follow gender expectations
- feeling neglected
- keeping your feelings bottled up or to yourself
- feeling overwhelmed, resentful toward your baby
- stressing about finances and providing for the family
Postpartum depression in fathers usually shows up 3 to 6 months after the birth of a baby
Let’s continue to raise awareness about PPD in fathers by creating conversations around the importance of the fathering role.
Services and/or resources available:
- CAMH: Postpartum Depression and Men’s Mental Health
- Urgent and non-urgent services for PPD in Toronto
- What’s Up Walk-In Program (WUWI) – a program offering free counseling services for individuals ages 0-29 years and their families.
- Fathers Mental Health program in Toronto
For information in your community that can help new parents, call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 or e-chat with us (Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30).