Thursday, February 14, 2008



My friend Suzanne just sent me this and it makes me feel bad. I love, love, love my boys. And by having sons, it has opened up an entire world to me that I wouldn't know had I only had daughters. But I've never quite been able to shed the sense of loss or failure that I feel over not having a girl. I never even realized I wanted a girl until I didn't have one. I feel guilty, of course, for saying these things. That somehow by admitting it, that it lessens the love I feel for my boys. I've always thought that God must feel I didn't deserve a girl, that somehow I'd just fuck her up the way my mom did to me. Stupid, huh?

Anyway, Suzanne sent me the article below. I'll try to find and post a link to the actual story later.

from the UK Telegraph

Boys 'lead to more post-natal depression'

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 5:58pm GMT 13/02/2008

Women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer post-natal depression than those having daughters, a study has found.

Having a son is 'more likely to reduce quality of life'
Research carried out in France found three quarters of women who were diagnosed with severe post-natal depression had sons.

Even if the mother had not been diagnosed as depressed, having a son was significantly more likely to reduce their quality of life compared to mothers of girls, according to the research which was published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

A team of researchers led by Professor Claude de Tychey, from Université Nancy, France, studied 181 women from a community where there were no cultural pressures about the sex of children.

All the women were aged 19 to 40, with 52 per cent of the total giving birth to boys and 48 per cent giving birth to girls.

A third had signs of post natal depression when interviewed one to two months after the birth and nine per cent had severe symptoms.

Prof de Tychey said: “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.”

They also found women who had given birth to a boy reported lower quality of life scores in 70 per cent of cases compared with women who had delivered a girl, regardless of whether they suffered from post-natal depression. In women who did not have depression, mothers of sons had lower quality of life scores in nine out of the 10 categories.

“These figures show very clearly that having a boy resulted in lower quality of life scores in all cases” says Professor de Tychey.

“We also discovered that being a first-time mother had no effect on quality of life scores.

Women had the same general scores regardless of whether the recent birth was their first or second baby.” The study also found that women who had a daughter as their first child were more likely to have a second baby than those who had a boy first.

Prof Tychey said: “Previous studies have shown that women who live in cultures where greater value is placed on sons are more likely to suffer from PND if they give birth to a girl.

“However, we believe that this study – carried out in a French community where women didn’t face cultural pressures over the sex of their baby – is the first to show that women who give birth to boys are more likely to suffer from severe PND and reduced quality of life. Further research is needed to find out why this happens.”


merlotmom said...

Did I miss something? Or do they not explain WHY having a boy vs a girl leads to PND?

Dawn said...

No. You didn't miss anything.

I've been meaning to follow up on this. A friend in grad school got access to the actual study and explained it to me and I've been meaning to share her observations, but have not had time. Maybe I can do that today.