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Study shows stress during pregnancy reduces chances of male child

Expectant women reduce chances of bearing a male child if they experience stress in any form during their pregnancy journey, indicates a recent study. Chances of preterm birth and postpartum depression also cannot be ruled out.

Lead author of the study, Catherine Monk pointed out to the increased vulnerability of a male child whilst in the womb in such cases. A pattern of reduced male births was also observed in women who were exposed to traumatic cataclysmic happenings. Expectant women who were mentally stressed were more at risk of complications than physically stressed moms-to-be.

The study also brought to light the importance of social support in an expectant woman’s life. Every increase in the social support received by the mom-to-be went on to add to her probability of bearing a male child. Social support could come from any quarter including friends, family, religious community and so on. Programs offering social support helped a great deal in developing confidence in the mom-to-be and enhancing her social and psychological attitude.

However, another expert not connected with the study advised against relying too much on the connection between adverse results to stress during pregnancy. There were other reasons that could lead to unfavorable outcomes like lack of healthy diet and good sleep or enhanced substance use.

Stress is an unavoidable part of every individual’s life and if it becomes excessive or constant then it can prove harmful to the mother and baby. In this situation, an ideal routine of the expectant woman would need to include a nutritious diet, good sleep, exercise habits and meditation. Meditation in fact, was a better tool than exercise for dealing with stress especially for women in the later months of their pregnancy. Support groups for pregnant women along with couple therapy for the parents-to-be would also prove helpful. Planning for a stress-free pregnancy ought to begin at the start of prenatal care said lead author Monk.

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