Study Claims that Stressed Women are More Likely to Give Birth to a Girl

A study claims that stressed women are more likely to give birth to girl than a boy, and that the rate of miscarriage is higher with a boy than with a girl for would-be mothers who feel depressed or feel overwhelmed.

Specifically, a pregnant mother who feels stressed out or overwhelmed has a greater risk of suffering a miscarriage if they are pregnant with a boy than if they were having a girl. Why is that so?

In a study published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor Catherine Monk and her team from the Columbia University in New York concluded that the study explains why there’s a longstanding trend of increased births of girls compared with boys following traumatic national events, such as the 9/11 and calamities like earthquakes.

Using 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress, the team of scientists correlated birth outcomes in a group of 187 pregnant women. The outcome of the study shoes that the boy-to-girl ratio in women psychologically stressed is 2:3 while those who were physically stressed had a boy-to-girl ratio of 4:9.

Why are Male Fetuses More Vulnerable?

While female fetuses develop at a faster rate, male ones take much longer to complete the early stages of develop, the researchers explained; thus, the males are left more vulnerable to sub-optimal conditions such as exposure to stress and a great deal of problems. This, then, leads to miscarriage.

But scientists explained further that the women should not feel that this is their fault, particularly because many don’t even realize they were already pregnant at the time.

This 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,” Monk explained.

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

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, with or without an actual physical or emotional cause. It is formally called as major depressive disorder or clinical depression.

This condition is not just a feeling of intense sadness over a specific event, but something that occurs on a prolonged basis. Many people with depression have to undergo treatment in the form of medication and counseling.