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Published 04 April 2012 16:33, Updated 05 April 2012 04:17
There are certain points in an adult’s life where sleep is in short supply and one of those can be the birth of a child.
A senior lecturer at Southern Cross University, Gary Mellor, recently completed a study of new fathers. The resultant Fatigue and Work Safety Behaviour in Men During Early Fatherhood paper was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health in September last year.
Mellor and a colleague studied 241 working fathers in the three months following the birth of their children.
“About 70 per cent of them in week 12 reported a fatigue scale of moderate or higher,” Mellor says.
Scores were worst at the end of the three months than at any other point during the study.
Mellor says this suggests fathers should consider spreading paternity leave over the first few months of a child’s life rather than taking it as a lump sum when a child is born.
“Some of the leave could be banked and used when you need to recover,” he says.
Mellor says the study shows that rather than working less after a child is born, many men try to work longer hours because they feel a greater burden to provide for their family financially.