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Distress in fathers of babies with colic
Managing colic in infants is a huge challenge for clinicians, supporting families with a baby that continuously cries and is hard to placate. We often focus on the mother and babe, supporting breast-feeding, bonding and mother babe relationship along with reassurance and explanation. What about the other parent? How do they feel? De Kruijff I et al [Acta Paediatrica 2021;00:1–7.doi:10.1111/apa.15873] have completed a case‐control study to compare parental stress, depression, anxiety and bonding problems between fathers and mothers of babies with infant colic and parents of control infants. They looked at the parents of 34 infants with infant colic and 67 control dyads were included. Parental feelings were assessed using validated questionnaires. Fathers as well as mothers of infants with infant colic showed significantly higher mean scores compared with controls on stress, depression, anxiety and bonding problems. In fathers, after adjustments for infant and parental confounders and maternal negative feelings, depression and anxiety were significantly increased in the infant colic group. So, fathers of infants with infant colic suffer too. Clinicians should be aware of these paternal feelings as parental reassurance and support is one of the cornerstones in the treatment of …
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.