GOOD

A Mother’s Blood Pressure Could Be Tied To The Baby’s Gender, According To A New Study

Stress really affects everything

The factors that determine the sex of a baby have been the subject of scientific research (and lore) for millennia, but a recent study from Canada suggests that the mother’s blood pressure at 26 weeks prior to pregnancy could be a powerful indicator of the sex of the baby.

The study, which monitored 1,411 women who would go on to birth 739 boys and 672 girls found that, at 26 weeks, the mothers who would ultimately birth boys had a markedly higher average systolic blood pressure than those who would birth girls. The study corrected for many external factors of blood pressure including age, BMI, cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides.


Now, this begs the age-old debate of causation vs. correlation, in that it’s possible that mothers at 26 weeks prior to pregnancy may have higher blood pressure due to other factors that are determinant in the sex of the child, but the team behind the study, led by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran at Mt. Sinai in Toronto, seems to feel that blood pressure itself may be the determinate.

As he puts it, the study "suggests that a woman's blood pressure before pregnancy is a previously unrecognized factor that is associated with her likelihood of delivering a boy or a girl. This novel insight may hold implications for both reproductive planning and our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the sex ratio in humans."

If this finding is supported, the question naturally follows: What are the ethical and practical implications of parents raising and lowering the mother’s blood pressure to influence the sex of the child?

It’s a chilling, somewhat unpleasant scenario, one that could become very real very quickly if this study’s findings are supported by more research and critical analysis.

There’s a lot of nonsense and pseudoscience that’s been aimed at predicting and influencing a child’s sex, but this TED video offers a pretty even-handed explanation of the factors at play without presupposing much:

Earlier studies have found that elements of stress in a culture or region can skew what Dr. Retnakaran calls the “sex ratio” among a population. The clear link between blood pressure and stress might go a long way to supporting those studies much as those studies could go a long way in supporting this finding.

The full study is available here in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Health

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less
Health