Postpartum depression is much more than just a case of the baby blues: it’s a serious condition that is has only recently entered mainstream discussion. Now, new research reveals that it’s not just moms that need to be part of the conversation—a new study has found that postpartum depression in new fathers is almost as likely to occur as it in new moms.

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis looked at data compiled from depression screenings performed on parents for over 9,500 visits to pediatric clinics. The results showed that 5 percent of moms tested positive for depression, while a nearly equal amount of 4.4 percent of dads tested positive as well.

“The fact that so many new dads are experiencing this is significant because depression can have serious consequences if left untreated,” said lead study author Erika Cheng. While women are screened for signs of depression both during pregnancy and after, men don’t typically receive the same care when becoming fathers.

Though the study was limited to just a few clinics in the state of Indiana the results suggest that screenings for new dads are equally as important as moms. Depression in parents has been shown to have a lasting impact on kids which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends depression screenings for all parents during well visits.

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Pixabay

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