Study Says that During Pregnancy, Boys are Easier on the Body than Girls

Moms, weigh in! Do you agree with this study?

By: Amanda Mushro


Photo by: Elke Hesser

Elke Hesser

Forget the gender reveal party, because apparently, you don’t need a pink or blue cake or balloons to reveal if you are having a boy or a girl. According to one study, you just have to see how mom is feeling.

Old wives’ tales say that baby boys lead to that coveted pregnancy glow and morning sickness is a sign that a little girl is on the way. Turns out, this might be true!

According to a recent study, a pregnant woman’s immune responses are heavily affected by the sex of the baby she is carrying. In fact, researchers say that if the mom-to-be is carrying a baby girl, she can expect heightened inflammation in her body that will cause her more discomfort and possibly greater exposure to disease. So this could explain the extra aches and pains and even morning sickness many moms deal with while pregnant.

For the study, researchers from The Ohio State University studied 80 pregnant women to see if the baby’s gender led to any changes in immune markers called cytokines. What they found was women who were carrying girls produced significantly higher levels of cytokines in their blood.

So why is this important? Cytokines increases can cause achiness, fatigue and increased feelings of stress, but it can also reduce mom’s immunity and make her more susceptible to illnesses during pregnancy.

“This research helps women and their obstetricians recognize that fetal gender is one factor that may impact how a woman’s body responds to everyday immune challenges and can lead to further research into how differences in immune function may affect how a woman responds to different viruses,” says Amanda Mitchell, a postdoctoral researcher at the Wexner Medical Center who directed the study.

While inflammation is an important part of our body’s immune response when it comes to healing wounds and fighting viruses, bacteria, and illnesses, excessive inflammation can be really stressful on your body. It can also contribute to feeling sick, achy, and fatigued.

If you are carrying a baby girl or just not feeling well during your pregnancy, Mitchell says there are things you can do like exercising, eating healthy foods like leafy greens, and finding relaxing activities like meditation to hopefully alleviate these feelings. Of course, if you are pregnant and not feeling well, you should always check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine or diet.

As a mom of two boys and a girl, I must be the exception because I never had that pregnancy glow with any of my kids, but I sure did have lots of morning sickness and tons of aches and pains with my boys and my girl. However, the prize at the end was worth it all.

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