Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women.

Mental health researcher Dr. Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women.

The causes of anxiety and depression around the arrival of a new baby are poorly understood. While results from individual studies vary, some studies suggest over 20 per cent of parents suffer from anxiety or depression. The study, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Affective Disorders, reinforces the messages of Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness week, which began on November 15, said Dr. Leach.

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