A new study found that mothers of infant boys are 70 percent more likely to develop postpartum depression.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Kent in the U.K. and looked at “the complete reproductive histories of 296 women from contemporary, low fertility populations gathered by retrospective survey” to find the link between PPD (also called postnatal depression/PND) and having a son or daughter.
According to researchers, a woman who gives birth to a baby boy has an increased chance of getting PPD/PND by a whopping 71 to 79 percent. The study also found that having complications during delivery increases those odds by 174 percent.
“The finding that having a baby boy or a difficult birth increases a woman’s risk gives health practitioners two new and easy ways to identify women who would particularly benefit from additional support in the first few weeks and months,” said Dr. Sarah Johns, one of the researchers on the experiment, according to Science Daily.
Johns also said,
“PND is a condition that is avoidable, and it has been shown that giving women at risk extra help and support can make it less likely to develop.”
Surprisingly, women who were at higher risk of developing PPD/PND to begin with — due to having shown symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress — had lower chances of developing PND after birth complications.
Johns and her co-researcher, Dr. Sarah Myers, are using findings from their study to help doctors identify which women may need more support after giving birth.
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