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Postpartum Depression Linked to Boys?

Study Shows Giving Birth to Boys May Raise Risk of Severe Postpartum Depression

Second Opinion

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 Toronto.

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."


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