A recently published study has claimed that women who undergo stressful pregnancies are more likely to give birth to a girl.
The study, conducted by researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and released on Monday, also states that mothers-to-be who undergo stress during pregnancies are more likely to experience preterm birth.
This "stress" could be both mental and physiological. The latter would include high blood pressure and other sustained stress to body. Mental stress could result from psycho-social factors.
According to the study's lead author, Catherine Monk womb's are an influential "first home" for babies and conditions of the womb deeply impacted the sex and health of the foetus.
According to the research, women with high physical stress gave birth to four boys for nine girls, i.e, boys and girls were conceived at a 4:9 ratio. In case of mental stress, the ration was 2:3.
The study also proved that though physical stress was a reason for premature birth among women, psychological and mental stress induced several complications in labour and childbirth.
Monk conceded that men were presumably more vulnerable than women in utero and added that large-scale, traumatic events have been known to affect the male birth rates. "One of them being President Kennedy's assassination and the other being the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City," CNN reported Monk as saying.
Monk suggested that providing pregnant women with social support and safety nets largely helps induce a sense of stress-relief and contentment. Therefor providing moms-to-be with adequate care and understanding was via families, workplaces, religious support groups or other channels was important for healthy pregnancies.