New scientific discovery suggests that babies conceived in the month of May are at a greater risk of being born prematurely – 10 percent greater.
New scientific discovery suggests that American babies conceived in the month of May are at a greater risk of being born prematurely – 10 percent greater.
The authors of the Princeton University study believe the earlier than expected deliveries are likely a result of the flu.
Women who become pregnant in May enter their third trimester just in time for flu season to be in full bloom.
If the mother is infected, the virus can lead to inflammation, which can trigger premature labor.
This theory is supported by observations in other studies that link the flu virus to premature labor.
During the height of the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, the flu season started early, and the cluster of premature births shifted accordingly.
To ensure that their findings couldn’t be attributed to social strata or financial status, the researchers observed the pregnancies of just over 647 thousand mothers and the births of their more than 1.4 million children.
Since the researchers were able to observe multiple children from single families, genetic and socioeconomic situations were considered relatively neutralized.
Given this, the study authors determined the percentage for prematurity in May conceptions affects all classes equally.