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New Dad's postpartum depression

answered 02:38 AM EST, Sun January 29, 2012
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This feels like a ridiculous question but I want to know if men can get postpartum depression. I don’t know what is wrong with me. My son was born 2 weeks ago and for the first week everything was great and I felt such love for him. Now for the last week or so I have been feeling so depressed and he cries all the time and I am so exhausted that I almost feel like I hate him. It is so hard for me to even write those words but it is the truth about how I feel. Is the way I am feeling normal? I can’t admit this to anyone and I feel so guilty for even having these thoughts. I just want to love my son again like any new father should. What should I do?

Rachel Starck Says...

Your question is not ridiculous.  The transition to parenthood affects both parents.  It is a life changing transition, during which you are sleep deprived and encountering all sorts of new major stressors.  Certainly, media presents images of how we should look, feel, act as new parents, leading to additional pressure on moms and dads.   Regardless of what we call it, you are certainly experiencing difficulty with this adjustment, and could benefit from talking to a professional about it.  Even though fathers are not going through the hormonal and physical experience of pregnancy and delivery, it would be ridiculous to think that they are not impacted emotionally as well by the process of becoming a parent.  Your relationship with your spouse changes, your lifestyle changes and your life now revolves around the new baby.  I would recommend seeking a support group for dads, and/or individual counseling to increase your support base, and help you as you work through this adjustment.  Your feelings are  not a reflection on whether or not you are a good dad .  A good dad recognizes his feelings and gets help when he needs it!

Best wishes, to you and your family!

Rachel

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