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Does Pregnancy Affect the Mental Health of Expectant Fathers?

pregnancy and the mental health of expectant fathers

Pregnancy and mental health issues are a big topic for expectant moms and those who have recently given birth, but what about the dads? A new study performed by researchers from Australia shows that women are not the only ones whose mental health suffers during pregnancy. Expectant fathers are also at risk for these issues as well. Research has shown that 1 in 5 women will have some type of mood disorder related to pregnancy. Most people do not realize that 10% of expectant fathers also experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems related to pregnancy as well. The Australian National University (ANU) Centre for Ageing, Health and Wellbeing researcher Dr. Liana Leach performed a review of numerous studies, 43 studies to be exact, and what she found may be surprising to many.

According to Dr. Leach “Men can feel left out of the process, because pregnancy and childbirth are so integrally linked to the mother. It can compound the problem. They don’t seek help, because they think ‘it’s not so much about me.’” This means that the mental health problems of the dad go unnoticed most of the time. Dr. Leach explained “Having a new baby is a time of great adjustment for many parents, and it is normal to be nervous, but anxiety can become a problem when it persists for extended periods and interferes with every day functioning. Couples should be aware of their mental health right from when they realize they are pregnant. Early intervention reduces the severity and duration of symptoms. Health care during the perinatal period should be about the whole family.” Have you ever suffered from anxiety or depression during a pregnancy, either as the expectant mom or the expectant dad?

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