Study: Stressful pregnancy lessens chance of having boy

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FILE – In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago. A new study released Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, suggests when a pregnant woman breathes in air pollution, it can travel beyond her lungs to the placenta that guards her fetus. During pregnancy, particle pollution is linked to premature births and low birth weight, but scientists don’t understand why. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford, File)

(CNN) – Could stress during pregnancy be linked to more girl babies?

A study published Monday by the National Academy of Sciences found fewer boys were born to stressed-out moms-to-be.

The lead author says male fetuses are more vulnerable and long-term stress couple play a role in pregnancies.

the study found four boys were born for every nine girls when the mother had high blood pressure and other signs of physical stress. Nature typically stacks the gender pool at 105 males to 100 females.

The risk of preterm birth also went up with higher stress levels. The opposite results were found when pregnant women received support from family and friends.

Stress is a normal part of life – and during pregnancy. Getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, and exercising can help minimize the effects of stress.

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