Giving Birth to Boys Is More Painful than Giving Birth to Girls

14 January, 2020
A recent study has shown that giving birth to boys is more painful than giving birth to girls. They say it's because baby girls can endure the stress of birth better than baby boys. Is this something you already knew? 

The sex of the baby plays a large role in the way that the pregnancy and delivery transpire. But until now, there hadn’t been scientific or academic confirmation that giving birth to boys is more painful than giving birth to girls.

Would you like to know why? Read this article to find out more.

Giving birth to boys is more painful than giving birth to girls?

According to a study by the University of Granada in conjunction with pediatric research conducted by the Nature group, various researchers from UGR and the Clinical Hospital San Cecilio de Granada have found that giving birth to boys is more painful than giving birth to girls.

Using various tests to analyze the deliveries of 56 women (where 27 boys and 29 girls were born), investigators confirmed there is a close association between the sex of the baby and the amount of stress they encounter in coming into this world.

Giving Birth to Boys Is More Painful than Giving Birth to Girls

Giving birth to boys is more painful: Stress on the fetus

For the fetus, the birth process obviously involves a lot of physical stress. The newborn passes from being protected, fed, and warm in their mother’s womb, and they’re suddenly forced to leave that secure place. It’s a process that could even be considered traumatic. Nonetheless, the study indicates that girls respond better to the stress that being born entails.

How do researchers know this? Because at the moment of birth, they’ve found that baby girls have more defensive antioxidants and less oxidative damage in their cellular membranes when compared to baby boys.

The results indicate that girls are better at handling the stress and inflammation that the moment of birth can cause. In newborn girls, it seems that their enzymatic systems are more mature than those of their male counterparts. This results in there being less cellular damage in female infants because their ability to metabolize key enzymes is greater.

And that’s not all. In addition to the finding that giving birth to boys is more painful than giving birth to girls, the study confirms other important factors. The levels of antioxidants in the mothers are also different depending on the gender of the child she is carrying. This means that the birth of a baby girl is less aggressive for the mother. Having a baby boy is more taxing on her physiology.

“The gender of the baby influences how the mother faces or endures the process of birth. But it also affects the way that neonates face the extrauterine environment.”

Goodbye to the myth of the weaker sex

The significance that we’ve drawn from this particular study is that baby girls seem to have a better tolerance for pain and stress. It’s no surprise since females are always the ones responsible for bringing us into this world. And it’s been said that giving birth is as painful as breaking several bones in your body at once.

In addition, this study is important because it points to certain risk factors and the physical processes that the bodies of both mothers and babies undergo at the moment of birth. It also points to future work needed to understand whether there can be long-term consequences from such stress.

Differences in being pregnant with a girl or boy

Anecdotally, mothers have always said that being pregnant with a boy or a girl isn’t the same. There are even those who claim they’re prettier when pregnant with boys. And there are others who swear they experienced less morning sickness while expecting a boy.

There are those who feel their belly shape is different depending on the sex of the child they’re expecting. They’ll say, for example, that the belly is round when it’s a girl; the belly is more angular when it’s a boy. It’s also common to hear mothers claim their ankles swelled less or they had more cravings when expecting boys.

Giving Birth to Boys Is More Painful than Giving Birth to Girls

One thing that’s certain is that no two pregnancies are alike, even beyond just the sex of the baby. This is because there are many factors that can affect pregnancy: the mother’s age, whether it’s her first child, how much the mother weighs when she gets pregnant, and what is happening in her environment (in her family, at work, and at home), the size of the baby, and many other possible factors.

However, one exciting consequence of this research is that it does set a valuable precedent. We’re one step closer to understanding more about the birth process and what happens to our bodies when we’re first coming into the world.