Postpartum Depression in Dads
Many people are familiar with postpartum depression in women, but new dads can be just as affected by parenthood. Changes in testosterone levels have been correlated to becoming a dad, impacting men both inside and out.
Low Testosterone Symptoms in New Dads
It has been proven that men have biological responses to fatherhood. Having low T is one of the most common bodily changes reported. When this hormonal imbalance takes place, there are sometimes physical and emotional symptoms that are present.
When levels decrease, men may experience:
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Mood swings and depression
- Low sex drive
- Muscle loss
- Smaller testes
Postpartum depression in fathers peaks between three and six months after a baby’s birth. This is right around when symptoms seem to add up and begin to have a strong impact on new dads.
Low T has been linked to fathers who are very involved in the daily lives and care of their children and is often said to be nature’s way of keeping dads close to their baby. Animals go through a similar process biologically when mating. Though loss of testosterone could be worrisome in the beginning, it’s a natural reaction to fatherhood that can be treated.
Postpartum Depression in First-Time Parents
As much as new parents can be affected by postpartum depression, you don’t have to be a first-time parent to feel these symptoms. Maybe you didn’t experience low T or other issues with your first, or even second child. Now, with another addition to the family on the horizon, you’re feeling the pressure. No matter when you deal with depression and low testosterone, it’s important you pay attention to your body and don’t ignore the signs.
Some dads are more susceptible than others to postpartum depression and low T. If you’re in an unstable relationship, have fears about supporting a family financially or have other daily stressors, you could have a harder time avoiding postpartum depression.
Help and Prevention for Postpartum Depression in Men
Of every 100 new dads, an estimated seven to 10 of them will experience postpartum depression. Roughly 13 of every 100 new moms will experience postpartum depression symptoms. Though the statistics aren’t very different, there’s still a lack of recognition and help for fathers.
One of the best ways to manage postpartum depression is to discuss your experience with others. It can be someone close to you, or you can seek professional help at any point as well. Some online communities have created forums and a collection of resources for dads. This provides an opportunity to talk to other new parents about managing low T levels and symptoms that come with it.
Though age and having children can put testosterone levels at risk, there’s good news too. With simple changes to your lifestyle, there are ways you can naturally increase low T. Eating more protein, being active, getting enough sleep and cutting down on sugar have been proven to boost testosterone. Improving your eating habits and exercising can also have a positive impact on mood, stress and weight, which are tied to testosterone levels.
The first step to getting back to your old self is acknowledging changes in yourself and seeking help and support—whether you are your own support system by making healthy changes, or you decide to reach out to loved ones. Practice self-care and get back to the best version of yourself.
Though it isn’t uncommon, men are often skeptical about seeking help for their struggles with postpartum depression and the effects it can have on their overall health. If you’re unsure about your testosterone levels, take our quiz on low T and discover your options with Rebuilding Life.