Postpartum depression, feelings of anxiety or the lack of the so-called ‘pink cloud’. Some women experience mental struggles after giving birth. But it turns out that there is an underexposed group that can have the same traumatic experience after the birth of a child: the fathers.
Childbirth trauma or postpartum depression can occur just as much in men. 5 to 10 percent of young fathers experience this. Although the social acceptance of mental complaints in fathers is not yet in good shape.
Taboo on childbirth trauma in fathers
We knew that the birth of a child has an impact on a family. Pregnancy and childbirth shake up a family situation. And parenthood in combination with the relationship, work and sleep deprivation can sometimes be quite an ordeal. Mothers more often dare to speak out about this, but fathers often remain silent. Subway previously spoke to fathers who opted for full-time fatherhood. You can read their stories here.
One today interviewed fathers who suffered childbirth trauma. They tell about the mocking and negative reactions they received from their environment. One of them talks about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-natal depression (PDD) he contracted after his son was born abruptly. The company doctor laughed in his face when he mentioned his feelings. Another father talks about the depressive feelings that arose after the birth of his son. It brought back gloomy memories of his childhood and the things he had missed in it.
Both explain that their environment did not take their mental complaints very seriously. On the contrary, according to the gentlemen there is a taboo on this subject and there is a lack of subtle attention, also for fathers. This is also apparent from the comments under the article by One today. Where commenters are really making fun of the subject.
Mental complaints after childbirth
Psychiatrist Mijke Lambregtse-van den Berg of Erasmus MC, and founder of the National Knowledge Center for Psychiatry and Pregnancy, also sees that the impact on fathers is underexposed. While she understands that the bulk of the focus is on the mothers, the fathers should not be overlooked. “A difficult birth for mother and child can evoke enormous feelings of powerlessness. Men feel responsible for their newly-born wife, their newly-born child, must keep the household running and also continue to perform at work. This makes it more difficult to come to terms with their own emotions.”
According to Lambregtse-van den Berg, the dialogue must in any case be conducted. “There is a major role for midwives who can also ask how the father is doing. Explain that this can happen, that it occurs relatively often and that it can be treated well. And it is not so important that fathers speak out.”
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