While many of us have been led to believe that Post-Partum Depression is due to the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy, studies indicate that just as many men suffer from baby blues as do women. While expectations - and pressures - run so high that having a baby is a joyous experience that will change our lives, the reality can be a little less rosy.
Having a baby means lack of sleep, additional responsibilities, financial pressures, sexual adjustments, changes in the relationship of the partners involved in caring for the baby. Everyone is making big adjustments to this amazing little being who is suddenly the center of the universe. It's not easy, and frankly, it's not for everyone. Post-partum depression in men can begin anytime after childbirth and continue up to a year. Those afflicted may have changes in mood, appetite, sleep patterns, feelings of sadness, hopelessness and intrusive thoughts of harming the baby.
Fathers with greater levels of depression interact less with their babies. Clinicians are not likely to pick up on the problem, men are not likely to seek help for the problem. That leaves it to the tired and frustrated new mother to be a little less frustrated and talk to your partner if you see these signs. Maybe other family members and friends can intervene, get him to talk about how he's feeling, and seek help. We've probably all known more than one "great husband" who abandoned his wife after she had a baby, and maybe this is what that was all about.