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20.5.10

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A recent study has revealed that men are as likely as women to suffer from post-natal depression.

the same ratio as in mothers - were found to suffer from depression before or after birth.

By the time their child reaches 12 weeks, as many as one in four fathers start feeling low.

The findings suggest that the symptoms observed in men are not thought to be hormonal as they are in women and are probably a response to the pressures involved with fatherhood.

In initial weeks of pregnancy or after birth, lack of sleep and extra domestic duties take its toll and later issues like expense of having children, changed relationships with partners and the fear of paternal responsibilities prolong the blues in men, says experts.

The study puts the overall rate of depression among new fathers at 10.4 percent out of which around eight percent were affected in the 12 weeks before or after birth.

The researchers reviewed 43 studies involving 28,000 people. Though most women suffer from a few days of baby blues shortly after birth, postnatal depression can go up to six months in some cases.

Dr. Paulson who led the research said paternal depression was serious because it can have substantial emotional, behavioural and developmental effects on children.

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