Stress dur­ing preg­nancy linked to hav­ing girls

NewsMail - - LIFESTYLE -

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.

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