As if trying to plan conception around that elusive fertile window isn’t stressful enough, a new study claims there are certain birthday spots in the calendar that are fraught with health risks for your future child.
According to research headed by Mary Regina Boland at the Columbia University Medical Centre, there’s a correlation between the prevalence of certain diseases and the month in which a child is born.
Looking at nearly 1,749,400 medical records of individuals born between 1900 and 2000, the researchers compared birth months to 1688 diseases and found the month bore a distinct link with 55 of them.
Going by the findings, October and November babies have the highest risk of developing diseases, compared to those born in the warmer months – although those born in October were the most protected from cardiovascular diseases, followed by those with September and November birthdays.
Babes celebrating April and May b-days exhibited the most significant multiple sclerosis risks.
Summer babies, it seems, have a lot more going for them, with higher birth weights, growing to more impressive heights, and entering the dreaded pubescent phase later (in girls).
Of course, this has led the researchers to suspect the sun has at least something to do with it – and the correlative vitamin D exposure during pregnancy.
Yet before you stress about which month would be most advantageous to ditch the contraceptives in order to time a summer birth – which, in the UK, is pretty much down to one – proven prenatal practices can also help boost those vitamin D levels and protect your child from possible health issues.
Boland advises individuals to focus on a healthy diet, exercise (in the sunshine, preferably, and prenatal vitamins (with extra vitamin D).