In Brief:  Postpartum Depression Common in First-Time Fathers

By | December 23, 2019

Depressive symptoms were assessed in a group of 622 Canadian first-time fathers during their partner’s third trimester using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).  The prevalence of depressive symptoms in fathers was 13.76% at 2 months and 13.6% at 6 months.  

This study suggests that postpartum depression may be as common in fathers as it is in mothers.  It should be noted that the prevalence of paternal depression in this study is higher than observed in other studies of fathers.  However, this study differed in that it focused only on first-time fathers.  

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Da Costa D, Danieli C, Abrahamowicz M, Dasgupta K, Sewitch M, Lowensteyn I, Zelkowitz P.  A prospective study of postnatal depressive symptoms and associated risk factors in first-time fathers.  J Affect Disord. 2019 Apr 15;249:371-377. 

First-time fathers at risk of postnatal depressive symptoms (MD Edge Psychiatry)

MGH Center for Women's Mental Health