Mums of boys are more likely to develop postnatal depression, claim experts

Mums of boys are more likely to develop postnatal depression, claim experts

Postnatal depression (PND) doesn’t discriminate – it can hit anyone at any time, mums and dads included.

And while it can affect mums of girls as well as boys, scientists have found in a study that mums of boys are much more likely to develop depressive symptoms.

mum holding baby

Mums of boys are more likely to develop postnatal depression

In fact, the odds of developing this condition increased by 79 percent when mothers had baby boys compared to baby girls. 

What’s more, mums who experienced complications during birth were 174% more likely to experience PND than those who had no complications.

Researchers at the University of Kent conducted a study with 296 women to see if there was a link between mums who developed PND and the gender of their child.

Dr Sarah Johns and Dr Sarah Myers in the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC), concluded that recognising that both male infants and birth complications are PND risk factors and this should help health professionals in identifying and supporting women who may be more likely to develop this condition.


“PND is a condition that is avoidable, and it has been shown that giving women at risk extra help and support can make it less likely to develop,” says Dr. John.

“The finding that having a baby boy or a difficult birth increases a woman’s risk gives health practitioners two new and easy ways to identify women who would particularly benefit from additional support in the first few weeks and months.”

Giving birth this time of year has been linked to postnatal depression

Postnatal depression: recognising the symptoms and getting help

Getting The Support You Need

One in seven women in Australia suffers from postnatal depression and one in ten new fathers also experience postnatal depression, says Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA).

If you or someone you know is struggling, then remember you are not alone. Have a look at our story on what every mum who has experienced PND needs to hear as well as our post natal depression archives for ways to get the help you deserve.

For more on the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression visit


PANDA National Helpline – 1300 726 306

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

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