when to get pregnant

As if getting pregnant wasn't already enough of a struggle for some women, we're also worried about when to get pregnant. New research claims that there is a best time to get pregnant, because data shows the month you conceive may make a difference in the health of your baby. According to findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, getting pregnant in spring raises your chances of having a baby born prematurely, but if you hold off on getting pregnant till summer you are likely to have a baby with a healthier birth weight.

Within the study, they collected data on 1.4 million births to nearly 650,000 moms in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Then they looked at children who were born at different times of year but from the same moms, so socioeconomic status or environmental variables couldn't influence the findings.

The study found that when babies are conceived in May, they are 10 percent more likely to be born prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation). Premature birth is usually linked to lower birth weight, and a number of other complications including underdeveloped lungs, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Pneumonia, Anemia, infections and Jaundice (amongst others) that may continue to cause health problems throughout their lives.

In contrast, summertime conceptions end up translating to healthier birth weights by 8-9 grams, or the equivalent of .2-.3 oz. It doesn't seem like a huge impact to me, but researchers clearly think this makes a big difference in the future health of children. The study doesn't seem to make any conclusions for baby's conceived in the fall or winter, when my son came into being, so I'll just assume he's perfect as is (what I've been saying all along!).

While this study seems a little odd—we all know happy, healthy people born throughout the year, right?—if it might actually make a difference, is it worth trying to conceive in the summer just to be safe?

TELL US: Will this study affect when you try to get pregnant?

Image of baby courtesy of Shutterstock.