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Baby's Birth Month Can Predispose Them To Certain Conditions, Says Study

By Danielle Sullivan |

birth seasons, seasonal conditions, childbirth seasons, baby seasonal conditions, pregnancy seasonal afflictions

Are spring babies more prone to anorexia as adults?

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!

Image: MorgueFile

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About Danielle Sullivan

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Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Baby's Birth Month Can Predispose Them To Certain Conditions, Says Study

  1. Angela says:

    Lol, I had a December baby for my first and vowed never to do that again so now my next one is due in July. I actually was hoping for a spring baby both times but it just didn’t work out that way. Basically it seems like this study shows there’s no safe time to conceive.

  2. Sarah says:

    I have to say I am a July baby and am very nearsighted. I have a December baby, born a few days before Christmas, and a late April baby. Both are quite healthy physically and emotionally thus far.

    My mother was born in February and does have diagnosed seasonal depression disorder, though I have to add she lives in the far north of New England. Just a couple of anecdotal additions.

  3. Meagan says:

    My coming June baby has a 50/50 chance of being out of luck in the eyesight department anyway since his dad wears coke-bottle glasses (everyone in his family wears glasses). We sort of planned for birthdays… didn’t want a winter baby (Cleveland cold + newborn = yikes), but that’s about as much thought as we put into it.

  4. Kikiriki says:

    Oh NOES!!!!! Each season has an attendant health issue… better not have any kids at all, I guess. Seriously, who funds these “studies?” What use is this information? Ugh.

  5. daria says:

    clearly stupid study. correlation does not equal causation. you can always find some illness that is associated with a season if you look hard enough. anorexia related to seasonality? good grief.

  6. Laura says:

    The vast majority of professional athletes were born in the Spring. Think about it…in school they were always the oldest, the tallest, the strongest. I don’t know how that applies to the risk factors indicated above, but maybe some of them have less to do with when they were actually born, and more to do with how old they were compared to their classmates? (I’m thinking of anorexia, in particular.)

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