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.

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 August 29, 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 August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. 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:
from the past week

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