Mother and Baby

Stressed women are more likely to have a baby girl, says study

From the moment you find out you're pregnant, there's no doubt that you'll be pondering over whether you'll be having a little boy or girl. 

Now though, studies have said that stress during pregnancy could have an impact on the baby's gender too. 

Scientists at Columbia University in New York said that mother-to-be who are stressed while pregnant could risk suffering a miscarriage if they are pregnant with a boy.

They also claimed that women won't actually realise they are expecting a child when the pregnancy fails due to stress.

The research group studied the birth outcomes in a group of 187 pregnant women with 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress.

They noted that the boy-to-girl ratio in women who were physically stressed was 4:9, where 2:3 in women were psychologically stressed.

Professor Catherine Monk, from Columbia University and the study leader, said: "The womb is an influential first home, as important as the one a child is raised in, if not more so,"

They found that stress can be triggered by a lot of factors and Monk and her colleagues examined 27 indicators of stress collected from 187 healthy pregnant women aged from 18 to 45.

The study showed that 17% (32) of the women were psychologically stressed, with high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.

It also showed another 16% (30) were physically stressed, with higher daily blood pressure and greater caloric intake compared with other healthy pregnant women.

The majority (nearly 67%, or 125) were healthy.

Professor Monk said that the research "is not meant to alarm women or blame them.”

“It’s an important opportunity to find ways to manage your stress, whether it’s meditation, time with family, friends, religion or knitting" she continued to explain. 

"The womb is an influential first home, as important as the one a child is raised in, if not more so.”

“What's clear from our study is that maternal mental health matters, not only for the mother but also for her future child,” Professor Monk concluded. 

Of course, it's common knowledge that the gender of your baby really depends on the chromosome that the father's sperm carries to the mother's egg. 

If the sperm carries an X chromosome your baby will be a girl, and if they carry a Y, this would mean that they would be a boy. 

Were you stressed while pregnant? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Now read:

Stress in pregnancy

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While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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