Fathers Get Postpartum Depression TooMay 31, 2022 ● By Susan Curry
Photo by William Fortunato for Pexels
Fatherhood is one of the most joyful and life-changing times of a man’s life. Whether a couple decides intentionally or not, a sacred act of intimacy brings forth a child and the adults are recipients of a brand-new human. For the woman and soon-to-be mother, the role is very defined and the physicality of the body changes are expected. The support by their own mother and other women that have experienced this amazing event is flowing over. Even the generous advice of unsolicited women comes flooding in as the infant grows in the womb.
For men, it is the spoken word that shares the news; first with family and friends, then work colleagues and perhaps people in a grocery line. How this news is revealed, whether with joyful excitement, nervous anticipation or humor, is an indication of how the emotional side of this important, life-transforming event is developing.
While a source of major joy for many men, the onset of fatherhood can also include radical life changes in areas such as work, sleep, financial stability and social support. A growing number of research studies are indicating a mostly unrecognized syndrome known as paternal postpartum depression (PPD). Meta-analyses by J.F. Paulson and S.D. Bazemore in the Journal of the American Medical Association have found that PPD affects 10.4 percent of fathers. This is more than double the World Health Organization’s 2017 estimate of the global prevalence of depression in men (3.6 percent). According to J.H. Goodman in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, PPD is especially prevalent in first-time fathers, and while it can be seen as early as the first trimester, it is highest in the three-to-six-month postpartum period.
There is an insightful window of opportunity to raise the bar of support of fatherhood. Here are some ideas for new and upcoming fathers:
Build a physical activity into the weekly schedule with a group of men, preferably four or more, like a bike riding group, basketball or gaming at an arcade. The physical activity mixed with tribal philosophy provides calm companionship and support that mere talking cannot.
Allow feelings to flow through, seeing them as a passing train station rather than a stop on which to get off. This simple, yet consciously elevated practice can transform the way emotions are experienced. The visualization of a deep breath going from the top of the head, through the body, out through the feet and into the earth alleviates the temporary experience of the sadness, fear and other uncomfortable emotions.
Visualize and write lists of the future plans for the family. Go wild with the ideas with no attention to the means. Keep these in sacred confidence as the energy of the intentions build and develop.
Inspired generated action: Know that an increase in financial resources that is needed is being supported energetically by the golden addition to the family. Just as an equestrian jumper raises the rail on the bar and jumps over it, dads also see the raised desires of financial support as an inspiration to achieve.
Meditation/visualization tool: Begin and end of the day with a simple and consistent practice. Close your eyes. breath in deeply, clear mind and see your feet growing roots and connecting to Mother Earth; the color running through the body from the bellybutton down is a rich, earth color. Then visualize sky blue from the navel up, flowing through the top of the head, the crown chakra to the heavens of universal power, connecting to the cosmos and divinity that is providing pure positive energy to the grounded earthly body experience. This can be completed in two, 60-second, intentional, daily devotions with a multitude of successes for the emotional stability, health and happiness factors of life.
Congratulations to all men that have taken on the role of father. The natural love that will stream as the experiences of seeing a new human grow right before their eyes is amazing and inspiring. Knowing that there are areas that will be experienced at a higher intensity due to the dynamics of the new family structure and choosing to allow any charged emotions to drain out before engaging is the consciously aware way to use the new position of father in its most supportive and uplifting way.
Allow the new human the opportunity to thrive from a level of their innate energetic power as opposed to the past fears that may still be residing in a parent’s subconscious. This is the way toward purely supporting and feeling proud and powerful in the wonderful experience called fatherhood.Susan Curry is a medical intuitive, holistic life coach, nutritional adviser, business strategist and the founder of InteriorWerx. Learn more at InteriorWerx.us.