Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sex of baby drives response to pregnancy stress

Date:
April 30, 2010
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
The sex of the baby determines the way it responds to stressors during pregnancy and its ability to survive pregnancy complications.

University of Adelaide research is showing that the sex of the baby determines the way it responds to stressors during pregnancy and its ability to survive pregnancy complications.

Related Articles


Male and female babies during pregnancy show different growth and development patterns following stressors during pregnancy such as disease, cigarette use or psychological stress.

The research is being carried out by the Robinson Institute's Pregnancy and Development Group, based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital and led by Associate Professor Vicki Clifton.

"What we have found is that male and female babies will respond to a stress during pregnancy by adjusting their growth patterns differently," said Professor Clifton.

"The male, when mum is stressed, pretends it's not happening and keeps growing, so he can be as big as he possibly can be. The female, in response to mum's stress, will reduce her growth rate a little bit; not too much so she becomes growth restricted, but just dropping a bit below average.

"When there is another complication in the pregnancy -- either a different stress or the same one again -- the female will continue to grow on that same pathway and do okay but the male baby doesn't do so well and is at greater risk of pre-term delivery, stopping growing or dying in the uterus."

Professor Clifton said this sex-specific growth response had been observed in pregnancies complicated by asthma, pre-eclampsia and cigarette use but was also likely to occur in other stressful events during pregnancy such as psychological stress.

She said this sex-specific growth pattern was a result of changes in placental function caused by the stress hormone cortisol.

In female babies, increased cortisol produces changes to the placental function which lead to the reduction in growth, but the increased cortisol levels in a mother carrying a male baby doesn't produce the same changes in placental function.

Professor Clifton said this research could lead to sex-specific therapies in pre-term pregnancies and premature newborns. It was also important in helping obstetricians more accurately interpret growth and development of the fetus in at-risk pregnancies.

"We are looking at what events during pregnancy cause changes in how the baby grows, what's behind this and ways in which we can improve the outcomes for pregnant women and their babies," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Sex of baby drives response to pregnancy stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429092930.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2010, April 30). Sex of baby drives response to pregnancy stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429092930.htm
University of Adelaide. "Sex of baby drives response to pregnancy stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100429092930.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins