The study included almost 87,000 couples from the UK and involved following their medical records from when they had their child to when their child turned 12.
During that period the researchers saw 39 percent of mothers and 21 percent of fathers experience clinical depression with 14 percent of mums and 4 percent of dads developing the illness in the first year after their child’s birth.
Study leader Dr. Irwin Nazareth of the University College London and his researchers found that these levels saw a huge drop in the risk after the first year. After year one 6 percent of mothers experienced depression and 2 to 3 percent of fathers experienced the illness per year after their child’s first year.
Though awareness of postnatal depression has grown over the past few years there is still much about it that remains unknown and there has been much debate over whether parents are more likely to develop depression soon after giving birth than they are at any other time. These new findings suggest that it is indeed true that parents show an increased risk of developing depression in their child’s first year.
Experts have said that parents beginning to exhibit any symptoms of the illness that are interfering with their daily life should visit their GP who can provide them with help and advice and will refer them to a mental health professional if appropriate.
Talk therapies are known for being extremely beneficial in the case of depression when either used alone or alongside antidepressant medication. If you would like more information about postnatal depression and how counselling could help you then please click here and if you would like to find a local counsellor specialising in this area please use our advanced search tool which can be found here.