British scientists from the University of Kent found that mothers of boys are significantly more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Another risk factor is complications during childbirth.
Postpartum depression is known to affect at least one in ten women who give birth. Moreover, the risk of developing depression after childbirth is lower in young mothers with a diagnosed mental disorder. This is because they are already under the control of doctors and are receiving treatment.
The study involved nearly 300 young mothers. It turned out that complications during childbirth increase the likelihood of developing postpartum depression by 3 times, by 174% compared with conventional childbirth.
Another unexpected risk factor is the gender of the child. Boys’ mothers suffer from depression 71-79% more often than mothers of newborn girls.
Scientists believe that the cause of depression may be inflammation, which develops during pregnancy complications. It leads to swelling of the internal tissues caused by an increase in blood flow and an increase in the concentration of white blood cells. This changes the balance of chemical compounds in the mother’s brain.
Bearing a boy also increases the level of inflammation in the woman’s immune system and also leads to a change in the concentration of certain substances in her brain.