Postpartum depression and the male partner

Anna de Magistris, Mauro Carta, Vassilios Fanos

Abstract


Background: Numerous studies have shown that postpartum depression is a phenomenon that develops in a family, social and economic context capable of influencing its course.

A predominant role in the onset of the pathology is played by the relationship of the couple, but up to now few studies have been carried out on the role of the partner of the depressed mother and on the interactions between the two partners, that is, on how maternal depression influences the behaviour of the male partner and is in turn influenced, and how the depression of both parents, and not only that of the mother, influences the neuropsychic development of the child and the interactions between the child and the outside world.

Objectives: The objectives are to examine the literature to arrive at an understanding of how the father figure develops during the pregnancy and how postpartum depression impacts on the couple’s relationship and the care of the children by both partners.

Materials and methods: This article presents a review of recent literature on the subject through a search for articles in Pubmed and Sciencedirect (keywords: men, postpartum depression, fathers, couple, prediction, detection), and by referring to classic texts in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy on the development of the parental figures.

Conclusions: Although up to now the literature on the consequences of postpartum depression on the couple is scanty, the data collected allow us to affirm that it is not a problem that concerns only the mother, but one that has an impact on the entire family, on the child and the partner, triggering a chain reaction of maladjustment and distress that may lead to separation and destruction of the family unit with important repercussions on society as a whole.


Keywords


depression; delivery; father; mother; couple; child

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