It seems like moms, both new and seasoned, can breathe a breath of relief because postpartum depression is finally being talked about much for frequently. There is more support, more help, more doctors taking our feelings into consideration in a major way, and most definitely more studies being done. With more information on hand, incredible breakthroughs are happening every day that are raising awareness better than ever about how important it is to pay attention to how new moms are feeling after giving birth. One of the latest studies on postpartum depression (PPD) looks at gender as a way to influence whether mom ends up with this or not.
The study was done by researchers at the University of Kent in the U.K., and the study looked at “the complete reproductive histories of 296 women from contemporary, low fertility populations gathered by retrospective survey” as a way to find a link between postpartum depression and the sex of your child.
Interestingly, it was found that giving birth to a baby boy increased PPD/PND (postnatal depression as it's sometimes called) chances by 71 to 79 percent - which is huge. It also found that having complications during delivery ups those odds by 174 percent.
The information for this study was collected through surveys of 296 women from contemporary, low fertility populations and was gathered to assess whether the odds of PND increased when mothers gave birth to male infants or experienced birth complications, using generalized estimating equation models controlling for individual effects of the mother and other known PND risk factors.
We know this can sound confusing, so here's the scoop in easier terms: many known risk factors for depressive symptoms are associated with activation of inflammatory pathways, opening up the potential for identifying novel risk factors based on their inflammation causing effects. The male fetuses and birth complications are likely to cause inflammation, thus leading to the increased chances of postpartum depression.
The conclusions of this study are promising because it allows for postpartum depression to be more easily assessed by health professionals during pregnancy and after. It also gives doctors more of a change to provide them with support after giving birth and for families to play a bigger role in their postpartum recovery.