Research suggests that stress during pregnancy can impact your baby's gender
According to new research.
A recent study conducted in America has found that the more stressed an expectant mother is, the less likely she is to give birth to a boy.
The research conducted by Columbia University found that women who have undergone a significant amount of physical and emotional stress are more likely to give birth to females.
According to the World Health Organization, there are typically more baby boys born every year than there are baby girls.
Statistically around 105 males are born for every 100 female births, but this number seems to shift when it comes to years where a traumatic event has occurred, such as natural disasters, war or terrorist attacks.
Scientists believe that this statistic may be due to male fetuses not being able to adjust to their mother's stress levels the same way that female fetuses can.
Dr. Catherine Monk, a professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and her team attempted to replicate maternal stress to see if women dealing with intense turmoil really do give birth to less boys.
The researchers analyzed the psychosocial, physical, and lifestyle stresses of 187 otherwise healthy pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 45.
The women who displayed more stress had notably fewer male births compared to other women in the study.
The gender ratio of the babies born to mentally stressed mothers were two boys to every three girls, and four boys to every nine girls born for physically stressed mothers.
The study concluded that maternal prenatal stress does in fact influence offspring neurodevelopment and the birth outcomes including the ratio of males to females born.
Dr Monk feels that stronger social supports would help to mitigate this;
"Social support may be a key target for helping stressed pregnant women. Much of this support ideally could come from a partner. They are a key person in the pregnant woman’s life."
Don't worry if you've felt stress during your current pregnancy. Dr Monk says that all pregnancies experience stress but it's all about moderation and stress management.
The more time during your pregnancy that you can give yourself to relax and unwind, the better for you and your baby.