Mother Nature Never Had to Balance Work and Family

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter is five days old and today I had to go back to work. All day, I’ve felt an impending sadness that only gets worse. All I want is to be home with my family. I have to go to work and be responsible, but I can’t shake this horrible sadness.

A: Up to 85 percent of new moms go through what’s called the “baby blues”—feelings of sadness and depression that last for a few days or weeks and then slowly fade. It sounds like you’re going through something very similar. Plus, you’ve slammed right into one of the biggest challenges today’s fathers face: how to effectively balance their work and family lives.
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Standing up to Depression: Kids with Depressed Moms are Shorter

A few weeks ago I did a post about how depressed new moms are less likely to breastfeed than less-depressed women. A lot of studies show that breastfed babies do better in a variety of areas–lower risk of obesity, ear infections, and pneumonia, stronger immune system, and even increased IQ. But even though depression affects breastfeeding, which in turn affects babies’ health, it’s not accurate to say that depression is responsible for poorer outcomes.

So here’s another interesting study that links mothers’ depression with their children’s health–in this case, if their height. In a just-published study, children of moms who were depressed nine months after giving birth were more likely to be short at age three and beyond than kids whose mothers were not depressed.

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