When it comes to your risk for developing gestational diabetes, it might matter if you’re carrying a baby boy versus a baby girl.
According to a new study published Wednesday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, an expecting mom’s risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy as well as type 2 diabetes later is connected to whether she’s carrying a son or daughter. And it turns out that women in the study who carried boy babies were more likely get diabetes in pregnancy than those who were carrying baby girls.
The research comes from close to 643,000 Canadian women who had their first child in the first decade of the millennium. However, while the study did determine a link between baby’s gender and mom’s risk, it didn’t prove cause and effect (nor was it designed to).
“It is thought that gestational diabetes occurs because of a combination of underlying metabolic abnormalities in the mother and temporary metabolic changes that take place during pregnancy,” said the study’s author, Baiju Shah, of the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, in a press release. “Our findings suggest a male fetus leads to greater pregnancy-associated metabolic changes than a female fetus does.”
In other findings from the research, it turned out that women who got gestational diabetes during their pregnancies with girl babies also had a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes afterward. This suggested, however, that those women had other underlying health issues.
Close to one in 10 women will get gestational diabetes during their pregnancies, so many expecting moms will be curious about these new findings.
I glugged down that syrupy glucose mix during my second trimester, and the screening test revealed I did not have gestational diabetes—so that was a huge relief. But I rarely see myself reflected in studies about gender predicting certain pregnancy outcomes—given I carried one son and one daughter at the same time during my twin pregnancy!
Jane and Jon Cornwill flew to California from their home in Australia to try a fertility technology called pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) that would allow them to choose the sex of their baby. After raising three young boys, the Cornwills suffered gender disappointment and were desperate for a daughter. PGS technology is typically used to prevent transmission of a genetic abnormality or disease and regulations in Australia prevent its use for gender selection. In order to travel to America and have the procedure, they spent nearly $50,000. For the couple, it was worth the cost. Nine months later they gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
We want to know, if money were no object, would you want to choose the gender of your child? Take our poll, and then share a comment below — it could appear in a future issue of Parents.
This news comes from a study published in PLOS One, which analyzed data from nearly 70 million births over a close to a quarter century. It determined that increased pregnancy weight correlated with male babies.
When moms-to-be gained about 20 pounds, they delivered about 49 percent male babies—so under half. But when pregnant women gained 40 pounds, they delivered boys about 52.5 percent of the time. And when they gained 60 pounds, they delivered boys a notable 54 percent of the time. (Above 60 pounds, the connection went away.)
Why is this the case? Well, it’s not completely known. But Kristen J. Navara, the doctor who analyzed the data, wrote, “It is possible that this relationship results from the fact that male embryos and fetuses have higher metabolic rates, and likely need more caloric energy to develop successfully.”
Given that I delivered a boy and girl at the same time following my twin pregnancy, I’m never a great test of these theories. But I’d love to know if this jives with your experience—let me know in the comments!
In a time where there’s an app for just about anything (including the best time to go to the bathroom during a big-screen movie—which comes in very handy while you’re pregnant!—now a brand-new app called StorkDiet Guide to Conceiving Girls claims to be able to tell you how to give birth to the baby gender of your choice. The secret, they say, is what you eat!
According to Business Insider, the app, which costs $9.99, is based partly on a study of 740 first-time mamas done by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford that found women who ate more calories, sodium, and calcium were more likely to have boys, while women who ate less of those things were more likely to have girls. The study proved not to be 100 percent fail-proof (surprise, surprise!). In fact, just 56 percent of the women who ate the “boy” diet had sons.
The app’s creators claim that their 9-week diet and conception-timing program has a higher success rate of 81 percent.
This is the third time in just over a week that I’ve heard something about wanting to choose your baby’s sex. First, Snooki said that she really hopes she has another boy, because she’s “not ready for a diva mini-me.” Then came the news that Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis and his girlfriend chose to have IVF so they could choose the sex of their babies and screen for genetic diseases. The couple says they wanted girls because that’s what they know (both only have sisters).
As much as I’d like for my son to have a little sister, I don’t think I would ever go to great lengths to make that happen. I guess I’m old fashioned in that I’d rather leave it to chance, and be surprised on that awesome day when you finally find out your baby’s sex. It seems a bit like a bad science fiction movie to me to be able to decide what you do or don’t want to have (cut to the scene when there are no women left on the planet). But to each her own! That’s the wonderful thing about life—and this app: the choice is yours.
True fact: Starting in November, parents in Germany can leave the gender of their baby blank on their birth certificate. For most of us, the only thing we’re worried about deciding on for our baby’s birth certificate is the name. But what if you weren’t sure of your baby’s sex? When babies are born, they don’t all fall easily into the category of boy or girl. Some are what are called “intersex”—that’s when a child is born looking like one sex, but possesses the genitalia or reproductive anatomy of the other, or in some cases they have both boy and girl parts. When an intersex child is born (experts say that roughly one out of every 1,500 babies is born with genitals that cannot be easily categorized as male or female), it has traditionally been left up to the doctor to decide which sex should be chosen on the birth certificate, which can lead to possible problems with gender dysphoria and general confusion later in life.
Germany is the first country to add a law that adds a third sex option to birth certificates to account for intersex babies. The law also states that these children, who’ve been marked “blank” at birth can go on to decide later in life whether they believe their gender should be identified as male, female or if it should remain blank. Though this might be seen as controversial among some here in the U.S., Germany is not alone in seeing a need for another option besides male or female. Australia and New Zealand allow citizens to select x for their gender on passports rather than to make people choose between the two when in some ways they fall into both categories.
TELL US: Do you think parents should leave a baby’s gender blank, if it is intersex and has both male and female characteristics? Or will not having a clear gender identity early on hurt them rather than help them later in life?