Baby gender and baby blues
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A recent article on MSN asks the question: Are baby boys more depressing? Seems there is some thought out there that gender plays a role in the amount of a new mom's post-partum depression. PPD, also known as the baby blues, affects many women (10% according to research) at some point and in some way after the birth of a child.
According to recent research, having a male child may present an increased risk of depression in new moms. This is not because she wanted a girl, but, rather, something more scientific. In France, women who gave birth to sons were more likely to suffer from post-partum depression and more likely to report a lower quality of life.
Come again? As the mother of a new son, I readily admit I had PPD. I didn't feel depressed, but I did cry at even the sappiest Hallmark-style commercials. I remember crying over this rookie Yankee pitcher who couldn't hit the side of a barn and then laughing about it because I'm not a Yankees fan. But, I could not possibly report a lower quality of life. In fact, my quality of life shot through the roof once Mr. Pickles entered the picture. I was not, however, tapped for this research.
Interestingly enough, similar studies in Eastern countries such as China, Turkey and India found that women were more likely to suffer from PPD when they had female children. On another note, the women in France that were studied were a very small group and, given cultural differences and the small size of the test group, the findings may be considered something of an anomaly.
Once the study was conducted researchers began considering the why of all this. Possibilities included that infant boys are harder to care for than infant girls or that (Western) women may prefer girls to boys.
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