December 14, 2011
It is said that if you want to decode the mysteries of life, observe Nature. A recent scientific study of the effects of a 2005 earthquake on pregnant women in Chile may have proven that point. Researchers Florencia Torche and Karine Kleinhaus examined how acute stress during pregnancy can have a negative impact on how long it lasts and whether it affected the ratio of male to female births. They discovered that the effects of an earthquake during the second and third month of pregnancy resulted in preterm labor and a decline in the number of births of boys. Pregnant women who lived in areas unaffected by the earthquake in Chile had longer pregnancies and did not experience a decrease in the birth of boys.
There are usually more male live births than females with a ratio of 51 to 49. For every 100 births, 51 will be boys however this was not the case in Chile. After the earthquake, the number of male births dropped to 45 per 100. A previous study found that male fetuses tended to grow larger than females, needed more resources from their mothers and would be more at risk of miscarriages if their mothers were under stress. Why are boys more at risk than girls? No one really knows. However what the study suggests is that an early stressful pregnancy could increase the risk of having a miscarriage, especially if the fetus is a boy.
Stress is an unwanted condition. Not only does it contribute to the development of disease, it can cause preterm labor. Dr. Calvin Hobel, a perinatologist from Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles refers to stress as the silent disease and has documented the negative effects it can have during pregnancy. Hobel suggests that pregnant women need to be educated on the potential pitfalls of stress, especially premature labor.
Based on Kleinhaus and Torche’s study, all pregnant moms should try to minimize stress early in their pregnancy, especially if they’re having a boy. Innovative programs that focus on reducing pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy stress such as Baby Planner by Ingrid Prueher, might prove helpful.
Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mother who knows what to do.
Have you gotten a copy of The Smart Mother’s Guide?
July 26, 2009
Lightening struck our home two days ago and I’ve been reeling ever since. While in the midst of preparing dinner as my sons showered and my husband changed clothes, it began to pour buckets of rain. The sky suddenly grew dark, thunder rolled and then we heard a massive explosion followed by a flash of light. I just knew our house was on fire. Wires hissed, I smelled smoke and then there was an eerie silence. We discovered that the useless 50-foot palm tree that occupies our lawn was struck by lightening as was the sprinkler system and phone lines. Sometimes the weather in Florida can be equally as bad as its politics.
When the smoke cleared (no pun intended), my beloved desktop computer was fried; our water heater demolished; garage opener– gone; landline phones silenced; alarm system deadened and an extinguished fluorescent light in the laundry room. The cable repairman stayed for four hours today yet we are STILL without phone and Internet service. Whew, is Murphy is having a field day!
When events of Biblical magnitude occur in my life, I immediately look for the lesson. What did I do wrong NOW, God, I pondered and the answer was self-neglect. I’ve been averaging three hours of sleep as I juggle a full-time stressful job, market a wonderful book, prepare for radio interviews, provide monthly consultations for an intense federal committee, take care of my active 7 and 8-year old sons and often neglected husband. I doze off in the middle of dinner and have had to pay a punitive $30.00 late fee for detaining the staff of my children’s daycare center as a result of taking a much needed and unexpected “nap.”
Lord, I have duly received the message to slow down. But did you have to be so dramatic?