Postpartum Depression Linked to Boys?
Study Shows Giving Birth to Boys May Raise Risk of Severe Postpartum Depression
A Canadian-based expert on women's mental health took issue with the study.
"They are talking about a total of 17 people with severe depression,"
says Gail Erlick Robinson, MD, director of the Women's Mental Health Program
and professor of psychiatry and obstetrics-gynecology at the University of
While the 17 women with severe postpartum depression were more likely to
have boys, she points out that the 40 women with mild depression were more
likely to have girls -- 24 of these women had girls, 16 had boys.
Regarding the finding that women who had boys reported lower quality of
life, even if they weren't depressed, Robinson says: "There is a big
difference between [lowered] quality of life and depression."
Taking care of a newborn boy may be more stressful, she acknowledges.
But she isn't convinced of a postpartum depression and gender link. "All
we have is a statistical finding in their study based on 17 people," she
says. "I think that's on pretty weak legs."