Sunday, May 30, 2010

The birth of a child and depression

National Public Radio did a story on dads and depression.

Click here to read it.

Some many questions come to mind:

Is this a generational issue with the "me" (the Millennial) generation accustomed to praise and affirmation lacking the resilience of other generations?

Are expectations of parenting examined as a variable?

Has community support been examined as a variable?

Is 'depression" being confused with exhaustion?

Are "depression" rates the same for parents of first children as with parents of successive children?

When Shere Hite

of The Hite Reports interviewed women and men she asked who they turned to for emotional support. Women said women and men said women. Could it be that the woman who has just given birth and is emotionally tied with the newborn is not there for the man and he has no other place to turn for support?

Is satisfaction with the experience of labor and birth a factor?

Do parents who have no experience and exposure to newborn babies have the same rates of "depression" as those with significant experience?

Is it that our harmony addicted culture has a hard time with accepting the shadow side of life and needs a fix?

Are these studies funded by pharmaceuticals with something to gain through pill manufacturing for treatment?

How does pregnancy, childbirth and parenting fit into the rhythm of life?

What's your experience?


  1. GREAT questions, Lisa! I, personally, have noticed a difference in how pampered men, versus collaborative men react to fatherhood. I think those without close friends (including other women or even a mother to turn to) have a much harder time with it and I think your comment about men turning to their exhausted wives for support hit the nail on the head. Men who feel a part of everything and were emotionally supportive and sensitive to their wives before children, certainly get more exhausted as they tend to be hands-on fathers, but the friendship aspect is so important before parenting - an equal and loving, supportive relationship really helps. And even in such a relationship, when stress hits Dad at work and Mom is engulfed in responsibilities, things can get stressful, so it's really important to do little things to nurture each other (a back scratch, special intimate time together when possible, making lunch for hubby or a nice warm dinner waiting, etc). And open communication is key. A little bit can go a long way :D

    My 2 cents :D but would love to hear what others have to say about it :D!

  2. I have felt personally that the Father is there in a supportive role,to provide the castle,chop the wood,keep the garden,bring in the money,the king,as head and protector and you are the Queen. Strength sometimes in the modern man is lacking in the shifting roles of gender.I feel strongly that a man is a man and a woman is a woman.The roles when blurred together create disharmony. My 2 cents, cheers Marie

  3. I'm with the above post. But roles and values certainly changing, and looking perhaps ahead of baby (if possible) to know what each parent's expectation in terms of their gender role (financial, emotional, physical, etc.) is helpful. Otherwise, interesting what you discover about yourself after baby is born! Who would know- maybe spending some time reflecting on one's own childhood and family constellation could be in order in looking ahead towards unconscious expectations. Great questions Lisa! Very important topic.*


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