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Postpartum depression affects new dads, too, and it can negatively affect parenting, according to a large observational study published in Pediatrics. The study of more than 1,700 fathers of one-year-olds found that depression occurred in 7% of those dads, and increased the odds of recent spankings nearly four-fold and more than halved the likelihood of the men reading with their child most days of the week. Pediatricians could be in a good position to help, suggest the study authors, as 77% of the depressed dads reported having talked to their child’s doctor in the prior year: “Pediatric providers should consider screening fathers for depression, discussing specific parenting behaviors (e.g., reading to children and appropriate discipline), and referring for treatment if appropriate,” the group recommended in their paper. [MedPage Today, March 2011] Read More

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