One Couple's Journey with Paternal Perinatal Depression

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 8:58 AM AKDT

ARLINGTON, Texas,  August 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Steven Gallegos's excitement at the birth of his first child, Caleb, soon diminished after arriving home from Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance.

Steven and Irene Gallegos with their son, Caleb.
Steven and Irene Gallegos with their son, Caleb.(PRNewswire)
Did you know mothers aren't the only ones who can get postpartum depression?

He struggled mentally and contemplated suicide as he wondered if his son would be better off without him.

"A lot of focus is understandably placed on maternal perinatal depression, but few people realize that fathers can also struggle with mental health issues after the birth of a baby," said Dustin Webb, LCSW, administrator at Texas Health Behavioral Health Dallas.

Free behavioral health assessments are available from Texas Health by visiting our website or calling 682-626-8719.

Gallegos and his wife, Irene, credit a Texas Health Resources book distributed to all new mothers at Texas Health hospitals, with helping save their marriage and Steven's life. The book, Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care, discussed paternal perinatal depression (PPND), a condition experienced, on average, by 8% of men worldwide and 14% in the U.S.

"Now I knew it wasn't just me; that other men had gone through situations similar to what I was going through," Steven Gallegos said.

Steven sought counseling and emerged from the state of cloudiness he was under. The Boyd couple wanted to share their story to raise awareness about paternal perinatal depression and inspire pediatricians to include fathers when screening for postpartum depression.

"Every single person who goes through this matters," Irene Gallegos said. "We want to encourage them that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Editor's Note: A VNR package is available:

About Texas Health Resources:  

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees.

Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care is distributed to all new mothers at Texas Health...
Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care is distributed to all new mothers at Texas Health hospitals.(PRNewswire)
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Texas Health Logo(PRNewswire)

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SOURCE Texas Health Resources

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