When you become a dad, whether as a first time dad or not, you hear from everyone, that you will go through many changes. Sometimes these words come from other people who haven't experienced going through a pregnancy first hand, and simply go off of what everyone says. Yes, there are changes that will happen, some more than others, but it's ok. It's all part of it. I, myself noticed differences in a couple of things, such as:

                                                             Behavior - Mood Swings

Weight fluctuation - gain/loss
Low Energy
Impaired Concentration - Lack of Focus
Restless feeling

These are some of the changes I experienced, but only after my wife brought up the fact that I was "off". I am now almost 11 months post partum and can say that I resolved the changes that come along with pregnancy, before and after. We have probably heard of PPD ( Post Partum Depression) which is prevalent in women after giving birth, but what about us men? What happens to us?  Well, this led me on a  search to find out if there was a "PPD for men". I came across an interesting and informative site that discussed what has, until recent times, been acknowledged as PPND - Paternal Post Natal Depression.

PPND: Paternal Post Natal Depression:

PPND is an actual clinical condition and can become severe. Luckily, this is treatable. Studies show that about 1 in 4 men get diagnosed with this and your chances are higher if your partner has been diagnosed with PPD, Depression isn't cool at all, and in order to be diagnosed as being depressed you must show 5 or more of the following symptoms over a two week period:

- Being Sad                                                                   - Fatigue / Loss of Energy / Tired all the time
- Loss of Interest / Pleasure                                          - Feeling worthless or guilty
- Significant Weight Loss / Gain                                  - Difficulty Making Choices
- Trouble Sleeping / Over- Sleeping                             - Recurrent Thought of Death or Suicide
- Feeling Restless

These are some of the better known symptoms and the intensity varies from man to man. Symptoms like the ones mentioned above can affect your lifestyle and your daily life such as your social, work, and academic life. As far as studies have gone, we now know that men have a hard time acknowledging sadness, hopelessness, and/or guilt. There are, however, certain symptoms that are unique to men such as:

- Increased Anger and Conflict with others
- Increased intake of Alcohol / Drugs
- Can push you to Extramarrital relations
- Increased Concerns About Productivity and Function
- Fatigue
- Conflict oneself between how you think you should be and how you actually are
- Thoughts of Suicide

These symptoms only get worse over time and it's important to consult with your doctor for proper treatment. Check out Post Partum Men for additional and other pertaining information. Once again, remember that changes are normal and will happen. Not necessarily depression or PPND, but also the obvious ones such as losing sleep, loss of appetite, and gaining or losing weight. One of the greatest things I have learned from the initial struggles is that you create a bond with your child that is stronger than any of these symptoms and you too can do the same. 

Share this with a fellow dad, soon-to-be-dad, or friend to bring some awareness to the changes a man goes through before AND after birth. I'll be having a weekly #DadTalk bringing awareness and insight to the life of dad and share with you all experiences and lessons I've learned along the way. 


What are some changes or struggles you have experienced or faced before and/or after birth?