Many mothers prefer the surprise of discovering the sex of the child only at the time of delivery. But there is a scientific reason to learn soon whether the baby will be a girl or a boy. According to a new study, the pregnancy of male fetuses faces three increased risks, which can be reduced with proper care.
Giving birth to a boy: What are the risks?
The study in question, conducted by the University of Adelaide, Australia, and the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, analyzed information from over 570,000 births in search of connections between the baby's sex and adverse effects for both mother and child.
The results show that boys have a higher chance of being born premature:
- The chance is 27% higher to be born between 20 and 24 weeks;
- 24% higher to be born between 30 and 33 weeks;
- 17% higher to be born between 34 and 36 weeks.
The study also shows that the chance of mothers developing gestational diabetes is 4% higher.
Besides, they have a 7.5% higher chance of developing pre-eclampsia, characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Risks that can be avoided
Both gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia can have the risks minimized with adequate pregnancy follow-up, besides an adequate diet and physical activity.
Why are the risks higher?
Although there is no information on why the gender of the baby has such an impact on the possibility of complications, the authors of the study suggest that female and male fetuses alter the placenta in different ways.
A previous study made the same connection after discovering that placental genes related to the maintenance of pregnancy and the mother's immunological tolerance were more expressive in female fetuses.