Baby Boys Lead To More Postnatal Depression

Armen Hareyan's picture

New moms, who give birth to baby boys, are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression than those who give birth to girls.

Researchers studied 181 French women. Postnatal depression occurred among 9% of new moms, 3/4 of these moms gave birth to boys. Study examined French women, because French culture doesn't have any specific attitude to baby's sex.

"The trend showed up very clearly," said lead researcher Professor Claude de Tychey. "Depressed mothers who are often in difficult marital relationships may respond more negatively to their sons. This requires further research so as to better apprehend the ways in which the birth of a boy can have - on average - a more damaging effect on the mother's quality of life than the birth of a girl."


Women involved in the research were asked to fill 36 questioned tests covering mental health, general health, physical activity, emotional factors. Test results for boys' moms were 70% lower than girls' moms.

Postnatal depression is usual for UK women. It generally occurs from fourth to eighth months after delivery. From 70000 to 100000 women suffer from PND annually. One in ten women usually needs serious treatment. Doctors ensure there is proper treatment developed for these women.

Study finds that postnatal depression is higher in boys' moms because of their attitude to their past and present male partners, happiness in personal and family life. Even those moms who don't have depression have higher rates of decreased life quality if they give birth to boys.

Study also doesn't see difference among women who deliver for first or second time. Experienced moms suffer from postnatal depression as much as new moms do.