Did you know that one in ten fathers suffers from postpartum depression?
Muhammed Nitoto, from Berkeley, California, is one of those dads who struggled with depression after his daughter was born.
“Postpartum depression wasn’t supposed to be for men, and if I said something about it, I definitely would be shamed for it, right? I felt so many different things like the day my daughter was born. Obviously, I was extremely happy,” said Nitoto. “I know it’s the happiest day of your life, but then I also remember just feeling this immense amount of pressure and then. Just not being able to. I’ve never felt like I was happy the way I was supposed to be felt like I was being happy the way I thought I was. You know, people thought you should be, but I was on the inside. I was really like sad.”
Nitoto shares his real journey of fatherhood on his Instagram page he calls, “Chronicles of Daddy.”
On May 6, 2021, Nitoto posted the following post about his experience with postpartum depression.
“With May being mental health awareness let’s talk about something that we don’t talk about. Postpartum Depression is a serious thing that both men and women should prepare for but what I learned when I was becoming a father was that all the baby books talked about how it would affect women and how men could support them through it. Now because of this I never saw it coming when I was affected by it.
When Zendaya was born it was the happiest day of my life. I remember everything about it but one thing that happened that I never talked about was all the different feelings of guilt I started to have. Of course, I never told my wife because she had done all the real work so I kept it to myself. Once we got home reality hit even harder. My wife obviously couldn’t work so everything was on me. I’d never felt that level of pressure before but I kept to myself and kept moving forward.
I remember feeling like I was a failure. Like we should have more in life and I couldn’t give it. To make matters worst work for me wasn’t thing well. Financially we were struggling and I was responsible. I remember crying in the shower sometimes. I lost motivation to do things that I loved and literally stopped taking care of myself. Finally, my wife addressed what she was seeing. I thought I was doing a good job hiding it but she saw. Postpartum just means following childbirth. Both mom and dad have an after-birth experience. Most dads don’t address all the feelings that come with fatherhood and that is the biggest mistake you can make. Children need happy and healthy parents if you truly want a happy and healthy child. New dads should talk with other dads about their experiences and feelings. And women I know you already have so much during childbirth to worry about but keep an eye on your man. You may be the only one who can see what he’s hiding from others.”
Nitoto encourages new dads to connect and even open up with other dads and create a support system.
“Asking for help is strength. The strongest people aren’t the people who don’t ask for help. It’s the people who understand that they can’t do something alone and have the confidence and the self-security like the self-reassurance that them getting help doesn’t make them less,” said Nitoto.
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