Giving birth to a boy can lead to higher levels of severe post-natal depression (PND) and reduced quality of life than having a girl, according to research published in the February issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.
A team of researchers led by Professor Claude de Tychey, from Universite Nancy 2, France, found that just under a third of the 181 women they studied four to eight weeks after delivery had PND.
Nine per cent of the women in the study carried out in a French community where they didnt face cultural pressures over the sex of their baby - had severe PND and just over three-quarters of those had given birth to boys.
The team also discovered that, even if women didnt have postnatal depression, giving birth to a boy was significantly more likely to reduce their quality of life than delivering a girl.
Post-natal depression is very common and poses a major public health problem, especially if it is not diagnosed and treated stresses Professor de Tychey.
When we launched our research, our main aim was to study the effect that gender has on PND. 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.
The researchers measured the womens quality of life using a validated questionnaire containing 36 questions. This asked the women to score eight dimensions of their health physical functioning, physical role, bodily pain, mental health, emotional role, social functioning, vitality and general health - using a 100-point scale.
The results were then collated into male and female births and whether the woman had no, mild or severe PND. Scores were also calculated for their overall physical and mental health. This provided 60 separate quality of life scores.
When the researchers looked at overall results they discovered that:
|Contact: Annette Whibley|
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