JAMA Pediatrics: it should be standard to screen fathers for postnatal depression

The original story can be found here from Forbes.

From a study published recently in JAMA Pediatrics:

“4.4% of fathers screened in a large, population-based cohort study screened positive for depression–similar to the percentage of mothers who screened positive (5%).”

Paternal depression in the postpartum period is extremely important to be aware of, given its potential far reaching effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends that pediatricians screen both parents for depression before and after birth during well visits. However, a potential concern is that many Pediatricians are not well versed in mental health issues among adults.

Postnatal depression was traditionally viewed as solely occurring in women due to hormonal changes occurring due to the pregnancy and birth. The results of this study call for researchers to consider other factors that may be contributing to this condition.

“Mental health of fathers and their reaction to stress and life changing events, coupled with lack of normal sleeping patterns, may somehow place them at risk for physiologic changes that may unmask untreated depression, or lead to depression primarily.”

Padre Cadre members, have you ever been asked about your mental health and well-being/screened for depression at doctor visits? Do you have stories to share with our community about your own experiences with postnatal depression? If so, please share below in the comments section. Take care!

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