Giving birth to a baby boy puts more stress on a mother’s body and could lead to long-term health risks for the mum.

All developing babies create chemicals which are unfamiliar to their pregnant mother’s body. This can lead to inflammation and tissue damage in the body’s cells after labour, because the mum’s body thinks it is infected.

Researchers now believe male babies produce twice as many of these substances, known as free radicals, than females.

Having a son could therefore increase a woman’s risk of developing long-term problems including depression, heart disease and Alzheimer’s – all of which have been linked to oxidative stress.

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While little girls were found to have a greater antioxidant defence than boys, and cause less biomolecular damage in their mums.

Javiar Diaz-Castro, of University of Granada, Spain, said giving birth to boys was no more painful, but caused greater damage to the mum’s cells – because males are more ‘aggressive’ chemically.

Dr Diaz-Castro, who co-authored the study, added: “In terms of the response in the mother’s body, having a girl causes less inflammation,” the Daily Mail reported.

The team also found that the bodies of baby girls show less signs of stress and inflammation after being born.

A separate study in 2014 suggested labour should be quicker when giving birth to a girl, because their oxytocin levels are higher.

Researchers studied 56 healthy pregnant women at the San Cecilio Clinic Hospital, in Grenada – who gave birth to 27 boys and 29 girls.

Blood was taken from the mums both before and after delivery, and then from the baby and umbilical cord – to analyse each sample for levels of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is the result of the body not having enough antioxidants to tackle harmful free radicals.

Boys led to a bigger stress response from the mum, while girls produced higher antioxidant levels.

Mums of boys also had higher cholesterol levels as they went into labour.

Dr Diaz-Castro said the mum’s immune system would therefore be affected by the sex of her child.

The team did not continue to follow the mothers, but he believes that women who give birth to boys would have more long-term problems as they aged.

Dr Diaz-Castro added: “After having a baby girl the female body will be better adjusted.”

The study was published in the Paediatric Research journal, where researchers wrote: “Our findings open a new, exciting field of research centred on the neonate’s (newborn’s) sex as a risk factor for several functional alterations, with a great impact on the development of pathologies in the future.”

I must admit as a mother of two boys, this rings a few bells.

How do you feel about this research?

Share your comments below

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  • Don’t know about this, further research needs to be done.


  • Whilst a few of these things might ring true, I think you need a much larger test pool of mums to work with and to follow through post-birth, and many years on to be able to make any conclusive comments.


  • Very interesting, but I wouldn’t take having my little boy back for anything regardless. Besides, we’ve all got to die sometime. My grandmother had 2 girls and she still died young of dementia or Alzheimer’s (can’t remember which) so I guess it didn’t really matter in her case.


  • I think this article/study needs better research
    My colesterol was lower with my boys. My quickest labour was one of my boys.
    I don’t think a research group should speculate such findings or predict such outcomes without doing the research on a larger group for a longer time


  • So research on 56 mothers and they get this answer, pathetic. so many variations to the mothers history, diet, lifestyle, mental health etc would also play a part. Why do they even bother? Just to stress mother;s out more?


  • I think more research needs to be done on this, such a small sample.


  • Has this study been proven and thouroughly tested Iam not sure about it I feel the stress is the same


  • It would be great if they followed this up long term to see if there is anything really significant in it.


  • I don’t believe enough research has been done to be releasing results. It should also be done in more than one country and on Mums from from different backgrounds,


  • I think this is slight scare-mongering …. I know many woman who have had boys (my sister included – 3 of them) … and they/she has never been healthier …..


  • I never heard of this before either.
    This is only 1 study and only a small study of 56 healthy pregnant women. Think it really needs more larger and lengthily study to validate these results.


  • Never heard about something similar before .


  • Ok so this is a very small study but lets check this and find a solution.


  • I’m not sure I’d trust the daily mail as a news source. I’d rather see results from the scientific study .


  • I have to agree with you about the headline. There has been a few misleading ones recently. Some of the print media is pretty misleading too. There needs to be a lot more research over about 2 years or more in more than one country for it to be unbiased.


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