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More Postpartum Depression With Sons, Study Finds

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:23 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Postpartum, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Defective Drugs

In a French study women who gave birth to boys were 70 percent more likely to have some form of depression.

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For the first time, a study finds that women who give birth to sons also have more depression.

The French study on postpartum depression (PPD) comes from Univesite Nancy.

Among women who had PPD four to eight weeks after giving birth, the majority three-quarters had given birth to boys.

Besides measuring depression, researchers looked at how a woman felt about her quality-of-life. Among those women who felt a drop in their quality of life, 70 percent had new sons.

The sad women scored lower in nine out of ten categories among them, physical functioning, pain, mental and emotional health, vitality and general health.

Theories are that a mom's attitude toward her son may be shaped by her relationship with present and past male figures. "Depressed mothers who are often in difficult marital relationships may respond more negatively to their sons," the report says.

Researchers find that women who have a boy first were less likely to have a second baby, while the reverse was true for those women who first gave birth to a daughter.

Whether a woman was a first time mother or not did not seem to matter.

In some cultures, where males are more highly valued, women who give birth to daughters also show signs of depression. However this study was carried out in a French community involving 181 women who did not have a gender bias prior to giving birth.

The women were ages 19 to 40. 52 percent gave birth to boys.

Professor Claude de Tychey said “When we launched our research, our main aim was to study the effect that gender has on PND (post natal depression). But the overwhelming finding of the study was the fact that gender appears to play a significant role in reduced quality of life as well as an increased chance of severe PND.”

PPD is increasingly believed to be a complication of pregnancy and birth that may affect five to 25 percent of women. Less severe mild “baby blues” may affect up to 80 percent of women after giving birth.

Symptoms include sadness and crying, sleeping or eating too much. Symptoms can begin six weeks postpartum. Symptoms that last longer than a couple of weeks need medical attention. 

The research is published in the February issue of the  Journal of Clinical Nursing. #


3 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Kev
Friday, February 15, 2008 12:04 AM EST

Talk about your prime example of post hoc ergo propter hoc. It is entirely possible that French society is more supportive of mothers with baby girls, that mothers at a greater risk for PND are more likely to conceive males, or that bias (one of the data collection methods was interview) skewed the result.
Further, this article steps outside of the bounds of the study in reporting its findings, the study can only claim to make a statement about how FRENCH women FEEL about their quality of life after giving birth.

Anonymous User
Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, February 15, 2008 1:09 AM EST

And how about the possibility that male hormones may mix up a woman's body for awhile after giving birth.

Anonymous User
Posted by Joyce Rich
Friday, February 22, 2008 1:44 PM EST

This is soooo cute

Comments for this article are closed.

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