Fathers can suffer post-birth stress too

RESEARCH by a University of the Sunshine Coast honours student has shone a light on the little known effects of traumatic childbirth on fathers.

Christian Inglis, 23, of Forest Glen, found 11.5% of fathers experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic childbirth and 20% go through moderate to extremely severe depression.

More than one of the fathers had been so upset by the birthing experience that they had considered vasectomies.

Mr Inglis's research was based on online surveys with 87 fathers and interviews with seven dads.

He said a lack of communication appeared to be a common factor in the trauma experienced by fathers during childbirth, whether the birth was natural or required surgical intervention.

"It didn't seem to matter how it was happening. If the fathers were communicated to before, during or after, the fathers were okay.

"If they weren't, there was a feeling of marginalisation."

Mr Inglis speculated that although men were encouraged to be present during the birth of their children, they felt out of control.

"Because of the cultural change, men are in the birth room but I don't think the roles have been demarcated properly."

Mr Inglis won a national university competition with a poster that explained and illustrated his work.

The psychology student next hopes to study medicine.

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