Women who give birth in winter or springtime are less likely to suffer from postnatal depression, according to a new study.
Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston, Massachusetts carried out the research by reviewing the medical records of 20,169 women who delivered babies between June 2015 and August 2017, 817 of which suffered from postnatal depression.
Discussing the findings, Dr Jie Zhou said: 'We wanted to find out whether there are certain factors influencing the risk of developing postpartum depression that may be avoided to improve women’s health, both physically and mentally.'
While there is no clear reasoning behind the findings, the study posted that 'seasonal enjoyment of indoor activities mothers experience with newborns' could be an important factor in happiness levels after giving birth. It is also thought that family and friends are more likely to rally around a newborn during the colder months, while the summer sees an increase in social engagements that the new mother will be left out of.
As well as the time of year, other factors contributing to the likelihood of postnatal depression included body mass index, whether or not an epidural was given and length of pregnancy. Not having an epidural anaesthetic during labour increased the risk, while a longer pregnancy lowered it.
Around 10 per cent of women suffer from postnatal depression, with symptoms including tearfulness, irritability, feelings of being unable to cope, feelings of inadequacy and guilt and loss of appetite. Celebrities who have spoken out about having experienced the condition include Gwyneth Paltrow, Adele and Drew Barrymore.