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Stressful pregnancy lowers chances of having a boy, study shows

"The womb is an influential first home," says lead author Catherine Monk, director of women's mental health at OB / GYN at New York Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

"We know that men are more vulnerable in the uterus and probably the stress in these women is longstanding," Monk says.

Nature usually assures that there are an average of 105 boys born for every 100 female births; after all, men are more likely to die from accidents or fight wildlife.

But in this study, women who had higher blood pressure and other signs of physical stress had four boys out of every nine girls (4: 9 ratio); while mothers who were psychologically stressed had two boys every 3 girls (2: 3 ratio). All women had a healthy pregnancy.

"Other researchers have seen this pattern of birth reduction in men associated with traumatic cataclysmic events," Monk says. "One is the assassination of President Kennedy and the other is the September 1

1 terrorist attacks in New York."

Pregnant women who were physically pressured were also more likely to give birth prematurely than mothers without stress. However, mentally stressed mothers had more complications at birth, such as longer labor, than mothers with physical stress. The Role of Social Support disappeared – a surprising discovery, Monk said.

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more surprisingly, the more social support a mother has received, the greater the chance of having a male baby.

"Support can come from family and friends," Monk said. "This may be a sense of belonging to a religious community. It is a sense of social cohesion and social cohesion, which research suggests is a buffer against the experience of stress. That means you're taking a break from it. "

Social support is critical to building confidence in a new mother," said Dr. Christina Penfield, associate professor of fetal maternal medicine at New York University's Langon Medical Center participated in the study.

"Pregnancy is a key moment in women's lives coincide with the redefinition of self, family and community," Penfield said. "It is therefore not surprising that several studies show that when we provide social support programs for pregnant women, we see improvements in their psychosocial outcomes. "

Chronic stress and pregnancy

About 30% of pregnant women report psychosocial stress from work stress or depression and anxiety, according to studies.

Until this study examined how shaking can affect pregnancy, others have indicated the role of the stress hormone cortisol

Cortisol is part of the body's "flight or flight" alarm system and aims to dissipate once the danger is over. can increase blood pressure and make a person more susceptible to disease.

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"When dealing with stress, the best thing for expectant mothers is to minimize the effects of stress on their daily lives and try to maintain good sleep, nutrition and exercise habits, "she added.

"I find that meditation is an incredibly useful tool for managing stress," Berman said. "Unlike the exercises that can be difficult for mothers who are very far away during pregnancy, meditation works at every stage

Another useful tool, Berman said, are pregnancy support groups, such as couples therapy for mothers and future dads who want to make sure their relationship is the right one. way before the baby comes.

Monk offers the most a good time to plan a more stressful pregnancy is just when prenatal care begins.

"Why not register and ask yourself how you handle stress? Do you have the tools? Do you need some more help? Where will you go?" came the extra help? I think it's the perfect time for that. "

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