Thinking about when to have your next baby? Most of us have not planned our children’s birth down to the specific month but now science may offer some reasons why we might want to start.
A new study from the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics says that depending what month your baby is born in, they may have a higher risk of a host of conditions.
Here’s a breakdown of the what researchers say babies are more susceptible to according to the season they are born:
Summer babies have a higher rate of suffering from moderate and severe nearsightedness.
Fall babies have a 9.5 percent risk of having food allergies, up from 5 percent for babies born in June and July. November and December were also three times more likely to suffer from eczema and wheezing.
Winter babies may be less able to adapt to a summer light cycle, which might be related to the increased risk of mental health disorders in humans born in the winter.
Spring babies are said to have a higher incidence of leukemia, with a peak in April. Anorexia is also thought to be more common in spring babies.
“We found an excess of anorexia births in the spring months compared to the general population,” said study researcher Lahiru Handunnetthi. “The idea is that there is some sort of risk factor that varies seasonally with anorexia.”
Researchers say that eight out of every 100 people born between March and June had anorexia compared with 7 percent of those without anorexia. It is a 15 percent increase in risk for those born during these spring months.
While the statistics show a correlation between these conditions and birth months, there is no clear cut reason why. None of the researchers have been able to pin down the exact reason for any of the speculation surrounding birth month susceptibility, other than saying that environmental factors may play a role.
“Perhaps a risk factor is playing a part that is common to all these conditions but we don’t know that yet,” Handunnetthi said.
The only truth in this study for me is that my daughter, a summer baby is nearsighted, but that is such a remote coincidence. I doubt that these types of studies will encourage any prospective parents to choose a particular season to conceive.
I actually never really planned a baby according to season, but after a very hot, extremely humid August after being four days late with my daughter, I certainly did vow to never again have a summer baby. So it’s no surprise that my next child was born in December…..and oh what a lovely difference that made!