Dads can get postpartum depression, too

(Photo Courtesy of Lucy Vigrass/Art Department)

By: Leonard T. Pineda I

FATHERS can also experience post-partum depression (PPD), according to an expert on mental health.

In a forum on gender and mental health held July 25, 2019 at the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) in La Paz district here, Prof. Rameses De Jesus, a clinical psychologist and director of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Office of Gender Concerns, said that the whole episode of having a child can also trigger for men to experience PPD.

“Post-partum depression is the onset of depressive episodes after childbirth,” De Jesus said.

Although mental disorder primarily affects women after delivery, this condition can also affect men.

De Jesus said that new demands and responsibilities during and after pregnancy can become heavy burdens for the male parent.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is important to understand risk factors that can affect development of depression.

These factors include difficulty developing an attachment with the baby,lack of a good male role model, lack of social support or help from family and friends, changes in marital relationship, such as a partner’s lack of intimacy, feeling excluded and jealous over mother-child bonding, lack of rewards in parenting, maternal depression, financial and work stress, and low testosterone.

The depression may manifest itself in terms of irritability, impulsivity, and feeling unable to find pleasure in anything.

Depressed fathers are more likely to engage in substance use, domestic violence, and discourage their partner from breastfeeding and/or breast pumping.

Meanwhile, the forum on gender and mental health was one of the activities conducted in line with the 20th year anniversary of Ugsad.

Established in July 1999, Ugsad Regional Gender Resource Center in Western Visayas is a coordinating body composed of around 90 institutions that facilitate gender mainstreaming in the region. (PIA-Iloilo)