A new Canadian study indicates that not everything is always rosy for a lot of expectant fathers. We see a large grey sign in front of a parking lot. At the top of the sign is a drawing of our old friend, the baby stork. He is mainly white and carries a bundle from his yellow beak. On his head, he wears an blue, black and white Uncle Sam-shaped hat. Below the stork are written the words, "Parking Only for New and Expectant fathers." Behind the sign and cars, we see the dark green of trees, their leaves if full bloom. The sky is a light grey.

A new Canadian study indicates that not everything is always rosy for a lot of expectant fathers.
Photo Credit: CBC / Ryan Pilon

Canadian study finds many men–not just their wives–face the ill effects of the ‘baby blues’

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The birth of a child.

It’s the stuff of films and sketches, the stuff of laughs and tears of joy.

Bill it under the heading, “Blessed Event.”

Fathers meet at a so-called Boot Camp for New Dads in Saskatoon in 2012. A new study indicates that a significant number of expectant fathers suffer some symptoms of depression. We see a group of men gathered in something of an unwieldily circle. Most are dressed very casually. Three of them are holding babies. Except for the presence of the babies, the gathering could be, perhaps, a 12-step program meeting, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. It appears to be taking place in one of those non-descript meeting rooms located in many hospitals with its collection of armless chairs and tacky sofas.
Fathers meet at a so-called Boot Camp for New Dads in Saskatoon in 2012. A new study indicates that a significant number of expectant fathers suffer some symptoms of depression. © cbc.ca

Only sometimes things don’t go as well as they do in the movies–both before and after the baby arrives.

The so-called “baby blues” among women have been found to affect about 70 per cent of new mothers.

Now, a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre suggests that a significant number of men get depressed when their partner is expecting.

The study, one of the first of its kind in Canada, suggests that about 13 per cent of expectant fathers experience “elevated levels of depressive symptoms.”

Deborah Da Costa, an associate professor at the Department of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal led the study.

She is a psychologist specializing in stress-management and coping with chronic illnesses and joined RCI by phone from her office in Montreal to discuss the study and what it might mean.

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