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Stress in Early Pregnancy Could Lead to Fewer Boys

It’s easy to be stressed during pregnancy.  With all that is changing in our body, between the hormones and emotional ups and downs, it is very easy to feel like your life may be a little bit out of your control.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I was dealing with the stress of wanting to get pregnant and also getting over  a miscarriage. My emotions were all over the map and I was very worried that all of the stress I was under was going to effect me getting pregnant again (which only made me stress out even more).  Things just turned into a viscous cycle.

During my first trimester I stressed out over everything.  I wanted to make sure I was eating the right things and doing the right things.  I didn’t want to do anything that would put the precious life I was carrying in danger. According to a new study, it turns out that, with just the stress alone, I was not only reducing my chances for having a baby boy, but also increasing the chances of me having the baby prematurely.

Researchers of a study that followed how the stress of a major 2005 earthquake in Chile affected pregnant women, found that pregnant women can be impacted by “exposure to stress itself, rather than the factors that often accompany or cause stress.”   After taking a look at birth certificates from 2004 to 2006, investigators were able to analyze data of not only the babies, but the mothers, including how close to the epicenter of the earthquake the mother resided.

From the analysis, the researchers found that the women who experienced the earthquake during the second and third months of pregnancy gave birth earlier.  Most of the premature births were those of girls rather than boys.

Women who experienced the earthquake during their third month gave birth to less boys.  There has been recent findings that boys require more from the mother early on in pregnancy and therefore might be more likely to miscarry early on if the mother is exposed to stress early in pregnancy.

We can be exposed to stress almost anywhere, whether pregnant or not.  This just shows that if we are pregnant in times of stress, we need to do our best to stay calm for the health and well-being of our baby.

How do you handle stress during pregnancy?

Photo via Flickr/Jon Ovington

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