Paternal Postpartum Depression

What Health Care Providers Should Know

Anna K. Musser, MS, RN, CPNP; Azza H. Ahmed, DNS, RN, IBCLC, PNP; Karen J. Foli, MSN, PhD, RN; Jennifer A. Coddington, DNP, MSN, RN, CPNP


J Pediatr Health Care. 2013;27(6):479-485. 

In This Article


Fathers play a critical role in their children's development. Subsequent to studies that revealed negative effects of maternal PPD on child outcomes, research is beginning to shift toward including the mental health of new fathers. This review highlighted the prevalence of paternal PPD, its relation to maternal PPD, and signs, symptoms, and consequences; it also provided guidance for PNPs in preventing, assessing, and managing the condition. The discussion lays a foundational knowledge base for PNPs and recognizes the importance of the need for more studies in this field.

PNPs need to incorporate knowledge on this topic into practice to provide the best patient care possible. For the successful management of paternal PPD, PNPs must be up to date on current research and complete a thorough assessment. It is also important for PNPs to be aware of the resources available in their communities to ensure appropriate and timely referral. This information is needed for effective anticipatory guidance and education, screening, diagnosis, and treatment for new fathers, which will help ensure the best outcomes for some of our youngest patients and their families.