1 in 10 men are affected by baby blues, this depression that occurs after the baby arrives. To support young dads through this period, sophrology can be particularly suitable. Sophrologist Catherine Aliotta was kind enough to answer our questions on this subject.
Sophro News: Catherine Aliotta can you explain to us what characterizes baby blues?
Catherine Aliotta: In young dads affected by the baby blues, there is very often a sudden increase in anxiety. This emotional flow is generally linked to the awareness of his new responsibilities as a father. Men may experience a lot of pressure when baby arrives because they suddenly fear that they will not be up to the task or that they will not succeed in being on all fronts (family, couple, work, etc.).
In addition to this, the young dad is faced with the phenomenon of mom’s merger with her child, and he may feel like he’s excluded from this duo. Sadness or depression can then appear and accumulate with theanxiety already at home.
S. A.: We often talk about baby blues among young mothers, but very little about that of fathers, how is that explained?
C. A.: It is true that baby blues affect women more than men. It is estimated that 50 to 80% of women are confronted with the phenomenon, and according to the latest studies between 4 and 10% of men.
This difference is particularly related to hormonal changes that women face right after birth, and that accentuate mood changes. Which does not mean that the daddy’s suffering is to be put in the background. Quite the contrary. Fathers have a very important place and role to play when a new child arrives and it is essential that they feel good to welcome them in the best conditions.
S. A.: How does sophrology propose to support young fathers subject to baby blues?
C. A.: Above all, sophrology will give young dads the opportunity to express themselves. The exchange times offered in sophrology session are made for this, and will help men put into words what they are going through. This first step will help them discharge the emotional overflow and take a step back from their feelings.
And then the young dads also have a huge need for reinsurance, both about their ability to be a father but also about their future. The exercises offered in sophrology will help them in a second time to calm emotions that overwhelm them and deal with the peaks of stress oranxiety when they arise.
Finally, the sophrologist can offer dads positive visualizations, both to help them savor the happy moments that they have lived or that they are currently experiencing, but also to calm their worries and reassure them of their ability to face the future with serenity.
S. A.: Can the accompaniment of a sophrologist be done in parallel with other therapeutic accompaniment?
C. A.: Absolutely. In fact, sophrology wants to be a gentle method, perfectly compatible with other therapeutic or medicinal follow-ups. It will never contradict a medical prescription, for example. It may happen that men start a support with a sophrologist and that the method is enough for them to feel better. Others will come on the advice of their doctor or therapist.
Where sophrology will stand out from other techniques is that it will allow men to take into account their feelings and to give importance to them. In this way, men finally access a space allowing them to live and welcome their emotions, without feeling judged.
She will also provide them with concrete keys to quickly regain well-being, independently, which is particularly appreciated by the male gender.
Thanks to Catherine Aliotta for granting us this interview.
Catherine Aliotta is also the author of Sophrology and perinatal manual, published by InterEditions.