Stress during pregnancy linked to having girls
STRESS in pregnancy is more likely to lead to the birth of a girl, a study has found.
There is also a higher risk of premature birth among stressed mums-to-be. On average, about 105 males are born for every 100 females.
But among women experiencing physical and psychological stress, the chances of having a daughter rose to ratios of 4:9 and 2:3 respectively.
Results were compared with patterns seen after the 9/11 terror attacks when the number of newborn boys decreased.
Previous studies found males are more vulnerable to adverse prenatal environments.
Professor Catherine Monk, from New York’s Columbia University, said: “The womb is an influential first home.”
Physically stressed mums with high blood pressure and calorie intake are also more likely to give birth prematurely. Their foetuses had lower heart rate and movement coupling, a sign of slower central nervous system development.