Researchers from Australia have made a surprising discovery about pregnancy complications and the baby’s gender.
A baby’s sex can have an effect on pregnancy complications
Dr. Petra Verburg, first author of the study, shares, “The sex of the baby has a direct association with pregnancy complications.” They found that boy infants were more likely to be born early, which can cause numerous health problems for infants. They also found that pregnant mothers who were carrying boys had a slightly higher chance of developing gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia which is a life-threatening condition, during delivery.
According to Dr. Querube Santana-Rivas, a neonatologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, “Male gender is a risk factor for a lot of the complications right after birth, especially in the premature population.” Dr. Santana-Rivas wasn’t involved in the study, but she has noticed a similar trend in her practice.
The placenta of baby boys are different from baby girls
Previous studies have pointed to the placenta as being related to pregnancy complications, since the placenta changes when the baby is a boy, or when it’s a girl. That means that any complications that might be related to the placenta, can vary depending on the child’s sex.
Claire Roberts, co-author of the study, shares that the “placenta is critical for pregnancy success, and it is an organ that technically belongs to the baby, so it is genetically identical to the baby”
However, the results mean that there is an association between an unborn baby’s gender and pregnancy complications, and not necessarily a cause and effect relationship. What this means is that pregnant moms don’t have to immediately worry if they’re carrying a baby boy, but it’s nevertheless important to take steps in order to lower pregnancy related risks.
Safety and health during pregnancy is important
During a pregnancy, mothers should always make health a top priority.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Monthly visits to your doctor are important in order to track your baby’s growth and development.
- For mothers who plan on having a child, it would be best to quit smoking and drinking entirely as these can not only harm your unborn child, but can also make it difficult to conceive.
- Maintain a healthy weight before and during your pregnancy.
- Eat right, and make sure to exercise during your pregnancy.
- Take supplements such as folic acid and prenatal vitamins to help boost you and your baby’s health.
READ: Why is folic acid important for pregnant women?