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Moms of boys nearly 80% more likely to get postpartum depression than mothers of girls

The New York Daily News - 11/8/2018

Nov. 08--Oh boy.

Your new baby's sex may be to blame for your postpartum depression.

The mood disorder that comes after childbirth has been linked with having a boy in a new study out of England'sUniversity of Kent. In fact, the odds of developing postpartum depression for moms of males is boosted by an astounding 71 to 79% compared to moms of female infants.

The reason is because postpartum depression is associated with an inflammatory immune response, which has been linked with both the gestation of male fetuses and birth complications. Inflammatory immune response occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins or other causes.

"The occurrence of birth complications increased the odds of [postpartum depression] by 174% compared to having no complications," the study also found.

Symptoms of postpartum depression -- which typically begins between one week and one month following childbirth -- can include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying, irritability, and sleeping or eating pattern disruptions.

"While always at increased risk of [postpartum depression], women with a tendency towards symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress at other points in the life course had reduced odds of [postpartum depression] when experiencing birth complications, suggesting such women may elicit greater support," the study continued.

The research looked at about 300 women born between 1930 and 1966 who reported details about every birth they had and were assessed on various demographic and psychological measures. Women who experienced the death of an infant or gave a baby up for adoption were excluded from the analysis.

"These results highlight two novel [postpartum depression] risk factors, male infants and birth complications, which can be easily assessed by health professionals," the study concluded.

* Mental Health Research

* Medical Research


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