Postpartum depression can have a ripple effect, causing emotional strain for everyone close to a new baby. When a new mother is depressed, the risk of depression in the baby's father may also increase. And new dads are already at increased risk of depression, whether or not their partner is affected.
The already stressful, exhausting period following a baby's birth is much more difficult when depression occurs. You may start to resent a partner struggling with depression, especially when you're overworked and under-rested yourself. But remember: Depression is never anyone's fault, and it can't be fixed with a stiff upper lip or a positive attitude. Depression is a medical illness that needs treatment.
If you're having trouble coping with postpartum depression in your family, talk with a therapist. Depression is a treatable condition. The sooner you get help, the sooner you'll be fully equipped to help your partner and enjoy your new baby.
Sept. 11, 2012
- Depression during and after pregnancy fact sheet. National Institutes of Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/depression-pregnancy.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Pearstein T, et al. Postpartum depression. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009;200:357.
- Lusskin SI, et al. Postpartum blues and depression. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Depression. National Institutes of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Major depressive episode. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 6, 2012.
- Hirst KP, et al. Postpartum major depression. American Family Physician. 2010;82:926.
- Postpartum depression. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq091.ashx. Accessed Aug. 7, 2012.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 22, 2012.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 27, 2012.