London: Women who conceive in May are more likely to give birth to underweight and premature babies, a new study has revealed.
Such babies also carry a higher risk of health problems in later life.
The research, conducted on nearly 1.5 million children, has found that the effect was irrespective of class, race, or factors such as smoking, but it is most likely due to the affect of seasonal flu in the winter months.
Professor Janet Currie , of Princeton University said that the reason to a sharp spike for premature births among babies conceived in May is the seasonal exposure of the pregnant mothers to flu in January and February, when outbreaks usually peak.
The study was based on analysing the health data of nearly 650,000 groups of siblings in New York whose mothers gave birth to two or more kids.