We’ve warned off this for years based on experience and other studies indicating this issue, and now a paper, published in the May 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association says it too. After analyzing 43 studies involving 28,004 fathers, researchers found depression in more than 10% of new fathers, or six percentage points higher than depression rates in the general male population (4.8%). About 25% of women experience depression during pregnancy. New moms, like new dads, also experience depression at a rate of about 10% within the year after childbirth.
Additionally, reports the New York Times, American fathers had higher rates of depression at 14.1% than in other countries with an average of 8.2% elsewhere. According to the lead author of the paper, Dr. James F. Paulson, this may be due to cultural differences as well as more liberal child leave policies for dads in other parts of the world.