Is Postpartum Depression Worse After Having Boy?
While discussing my emotional roller coaster after having my baby boy 8 weeks ago with friends one mom made the comment that Postpartum Depression (PPD) is worse after having a boy. She attributed it to the higher testosterone levels while pregnant with a boy. I have unscientifically surveyed my friends and most have agreed that their PPD was worse after having a boy than when they had a girl.
In the last few weeks I have had a few episodes of baby blues and anger. Now at 8 weeks I feel like my symptoms are calming down and my hormones are leveling out. My baby blues mostly consisted of my crying at night while watching a commercial or a t.v. show.
When I was angry I wasn’t angry at my new son, but at my husband and 23 month old daughter. My husband got sick and I was angry that he couldn’t help and I had to do everything. I know it wasn’t his fault that he got sick, but I still didn’t like it. I have been angry at my toddler daughter too. One day after I got angry with her I emailed my friend Amelia about my feelings and it read:
I do get really mad when Annabelle wakes up her brother. And then last night she was doing her usual – i don’t want dinner, but want to be in your lap while you eat – thing. In the process she swatted her plate of food away and it landed on the floor. I grabbed her, spanked her, ran her up to her room and put her in her crib and left her. But i was so upset and upset at myself for getting so upset about it. (i hope that makes sense.)
After I had gotten angry I remembered that Amelia had written a blog post about anger and PPD here on The Mom Crowd and I went and read it. In her suggestions on how to deal with it, she suggested that you talk about it with a friend. So I emailed her and she called me back. Our conversation helped me, because it made me not feel so crazy. She told me that she had gotten mad at her husband for being sick too. She said that it was good that I put Annabelle in her crib and walked away. She encouraged me to watch my symptoms and to keep an eye on how often I get angry.
Thankfully my bouts of anger have pretty much subsided. I am normally an easy going person. I also don’t cry at every sad thing on t.v. anymore. I was also able to talk this out at my 6 week follow-up appointment with my midwife. She brought it up and asked me how I was doing emotionally. We talked while I nursed my baby. This would have never happened at my former OB/GYN’s office.
After the birth of my daughter I only had some baby blues. I remember bawling during the Series Finale of Gilmore Girls and texting my husband to come home from Target so I could have a hug. I don’t know if my Postpartum Depression was worse after my boy, because I also had a toddler to deal with.
In February the BBC reported that French scientists found a “statistical quirk” in their research suggesting that the mothers of boys have a greater chance of having a severe case of PPD. I have also researched around the web and it doesn’t seem like their is difference in the severity of PPD in relation with the gender of your baby.
Have you noticed a difference in PPD between genders? Have you experienced a form of PPD and how did you handle it?