Your baby's birth month can determine how healthy he is

It's common knowledge that everything from an expectant mother's stress levels to second hand smoke to exposure to pet feces and pesticides may have a profound effect on a child's long-term development and health. However, what most of us don't' realize is the month in which a child is born and, yes, even conceived, may also impact a child's well-being. Crazy, huh?

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Before you ask, no, I'm not touting astrological hooey. This is scientifically-backed research here! Several studies have found strong correlations between people's birth season and "almost anything under the sun, from income to life expectancy to height," explains Hannes Schwandt Ph.D, an economist at Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing. That means, whether your believe in astrology or not, there are certain aspects of your life as you know it that could have been completely different had you been conceived at a different time of year. And though there's really no use in wondering about what could have been if only your parents had gotten it on in June rather than September, it's worth noting what a difference a few months can make when thinking about conceiving a child of your own. Because, let me tell you, waiting a few months to conceive can change absolutely everything.

For instance, if you want your future child grow up to become a professional athlete, then you're going to want to conceive them sometime in January or February. According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, a boy born in November can run approximately 10 percent faster, jump 12 percent higher, and is 15 percent more powerful than a child born in April of the same year. How? Well, researchers believe mothers who are pregnant through the summer, and are therefore exposed to more sunlight, produce more vitamin D, an essential nutrient for fetal development. On the flipside, children born to mothers who were preggo during the darker winter months tend to have low vitamin D levels, which may put them at increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis later on down the road.

Sooo, does that mean you should just plan on getting knocked up some time before summer, so to take full advantage of the sunshine and whatnot? Not exactly. According to a 2013 study by Schwandt and his co-author Janet Curie, women who conceive in May have a 10 percent higher risk of giving birth prematurely. This may be due in part to the fact that influenza runs rampant during the months of January and February, which may in turn trigger premature labor in women nearing the end of their pregnancy. Ugh! That sucks. Is there no perfect time to get pregnant then? No. No, there isn't.

The truth is, this information is helpful in that it alerts you to the kinds of risks you may be exposed to, giving you an opportunity to then address them with proper prenatal care. If you plan on conceiving next spring, plan on getting a flu shot to decrease your risk of having going into early labor due to flu-related complications. If you're deadest on having a spring baby, talk to your doctor about upping your vitamin D intake. Other than that, do everything as you would have otherwise. Don't smoke, don't drink, don't go bungee jumping or on crazy roller coasters. Do eat, sleep, and be merry. And take time to enjoy every moment of your pregnancy.

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Topics: advice  baby bump  baby  childbirth  early pregnancy  fertility  pregnancy  pregnancy by weeks  pregnancy statistics  pregnant  prenatal  array