All Episodes

January 11, 2021 57 min

Today’s topic is important, but it is hugely stigmatized in our culture. You may not have even heard about paternal postpartum depression, but my guest today shares what he experienced with the births of his two children. 


Dr. David Levine is a pediatrician in New Jersey. He was blindsided by postpartum depression because, like most of us, he thought it only happens to women. He shares the struggle of having to talk to his wife about it and how he found help. Even more surprising is that he experienced postpartum while working as a pediatrician. He completed his undergraduate degree at Rutgers College Medical School at NYU and his residency in pediatrics at Yale. Dr. Levine is not on the board of Postpartum Support International (PSI), where he works in professional outreach as a staunch advocate for fathers’ mental health. He’s written a book about his experience, which will hopefully be published soon to get the message out to fathers that they are not alone. 


Show Highlights:


  • Why so little is known about postpartum mental health, especially concerning fathers
  • David’s experience when his first child was born seven years ago
  • How David felt his aggravation and agitation increase as his infant son cried and could not be calmed
  • How David looked for support groups and resources for dads--and couldn’t find anything
  • How he kept getting worse and started envisioning committing violence against his child: “It was like watching a horror movie in my mind.”
  • How David finally told his wife about his depression and intrusive thoughts
  • How David tried medication briefly and then hit rock-bottom around week 7 of his son’s life
  • How David began his long road to recovery with therapy, a baby nurse, and more sleep
  • How he gained confidence as a father and began to bond with his son when he was 3-4 months old
  • How David began working with PSI and then had his second child three years ago
  • How his experiences were very similar, yet very different with his daughter
  • Why David feels that the traditional traps of masculinity kept him from seeking help earlier
  • How men experience anxiety and depression much differently than women do
  • Why postpartum depression in dads might manifest with anger, withdrawal from the family, and even physical violence
  • The pushback from people who don’t believe that postpartum depression exists for fathers
  • Why there should be more research, understanding, and resources for all aspects of male mental health
  • The hard statistics about male and female depression
  • How we can catch paternal postpartum depression better by teaching pediatricians to screen mothers AND fathers, and teaching obstetricians to inform mothers to check on dads
  • David’s manuscript for his book and his determination to get it published
  • Hopeful messages from David: “Paternal postpartum depression is fixable. We can prevent some of this from happening. With that, we can improve the lives of children and their parents and make stronger families.”
  • Share
    Mark as Played

    Facebook comments will no longer be available on iHeart

    We're taking steps to simplify your experience. If you want to reach out to our hosts or stations, please do so via their website or social media. If you need any assistance please check out our help site.

    Chat About Mom & Mind for Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health

    Advertise With Us

    Popular Podcasts

    Crime Junkie
    Dr. Death

    Dr. Death

    We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who - or what - is that system meant to protect? From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is a story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless system. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil.

    The Daily

    The Daily

    This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

    For You

      Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.


      © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.