Postpartum depression does not discriminate. It can affect people from all backgrounds and walks of life. But a new study suggests that some are more prone to it than others.
In fact, according to the study, giving birth to a boy can greatly increase your PPD odds.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kent and published in Social Science & Medicine, analyzed the reproductive histories of 296 women. What they found was that women who gave birth to boys were 71 to 79 percent more likely to experience postpartum depression than those who gave birth to girls.
What’s more, researchers found that delivery complications increased 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,” Dr. Sarah Johns, one of the researchers in the study, said in a statement.
According to Johns and Dr. Sarah Myers, who also worked on the study, the decision to assess the relationship between the sex of infants and PPD was a no-brainer, as there is a “known link between inflammatory immune response and the development of depressive symptoms.”
That said, having a boy doesn’t seal your fate. According to Johns, PPD is avoidable, and one of the best ways to avoid the condition is to monitor for it, as “it has been shown that giving women at risk extra help and support can make it less likely to develop.”
For more information about postpartum depression and/or other maternal mood disorders visit Postpartum Progress. You can also contact Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4773 or text “START” to 741-741 to immediately speak to a trained counselor at Crisis Text Line.