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BTD Forums  /  The GenoType Diet  /  Lefties and fetal stress
Posted by: Adopted4, Friday, November 9, 2012, 9:44pm
I was having a casual conversation at a family get together a while ago about left-handedness and Dr. D's theory that it is related to stress in the womb affecting the development of the part of the brain controlling coordination and dexterity. Little did I know that my niece sitting next to me is left-handed and her mother (my sister) was sitting nearby questioning that theory based upon her pregnancy. My sister did not feel she had a difficult pregnancy medically speaking, although she was a bit nauseous and didn't have a big appetite early on.

Contrast that with women you know that had rough or unplanned pregnancies that experienced multiple difficulties throughout their pregnancies that ended up with right handed children. Certainly, there are other signs such as asymetry that point to fetal stress, so why is this not consistently the case in left-handedness?

Is it perhaps that there is one limited period in a woman's pregnancy where this particular development of the brain is the most vulnerable to stress and therefore left-handedness is determined?

Here's another interesting tidbit. One of my twin sons is a lefty (and slightly ambidextrous), the other strictly right handed. My left-handed Explorer son also has more physical asymetry than Nomad son. There's no doubt their birthmother experienced a fair amount of stress during her pregnancy with them.

Any lefties or parents of lefties care to share their thoughts and opinions?
Posted by: AKArtlover, Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:18pm; Reply: 1
Check for symmetry of fingerprint patterns as well.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22332424
Posted by: AKArtlover, Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:22pm; Reply: 2
I am left handed and asymmetrical in prints. Dr. D asked if my mom was doing summersaults with me. She told me her pregnancy was very happy and stress free.... except that she was on medication for ulcerative colitis.

She also worked at a dental office a few years prior and they regularly "played" with mercury.

I kind of wonder now if the colitis was related to her body trying to rid herself quickly of that toxin because of the pregnancy. Just a thought.

I was very sensitive to a tiny filling I had replaced.
Posted by: KimonoKat, Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:44pm; Reply: 3
As far as I know, I am the only lefty in my family.  I am strong left dominant.  I do not know of any fetal stress I might have experienced, but there is a possibility that my mother did try to keep her weight down while pregnant.
Posted by: Victoria, Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:08am; Reply: 4
My father was a leftie.  He was born to dirt-poor homesteaders in Appalachia.  His parents worked harder than hard, farming, plowing with horses, living in a house with no electricity or running water, apart from the hand pump outside the door.  They grew all their own veggies, including the fruit from their orchard, slaughtered their own meat, eggs from their chickens.  Maybe exhaustion affected his mother.
Posted by: D.L., Saturday, November 10, 2012, 3:20pm; Reply: 5
I'm ambidextrous. My mom was under a lot of stress while pregnant with me. She was living with her in-laws while Dad was fighting in the war. Very stressful she told me.
Posted by: Joyce, Saturday, November 10, 2012, 6:13pm; Reply: 6
My husband [pos A] and I are both mainly right handed but sometimes favour using our left hand, some games, computer mouse,  .... but not for writing.

All 3 of our children, all A's are left handed.  I was under a lot of stress with the first, possibly some the second, but not with the third.  All pregnancies and births were normal with little nausea - only vomited once during first preg and never with the others.

Our middle child, our only daughter, married to an O right hander has 2 left handed sons - no idea of BT.  Other grandson, oldest boy's son, is still ambidextrous but time will tell.

Interesting observations :)
Posted by: Mrs T O+, Saturday, November 10, 2012, 11:20pm; Reply: 7
I think the theory is not absolute, but what I read(elsewhere)was that if left-handedness is not hereditary, it may be caused by stress during pregnancy.
My parents weren't happy, so that was the apparent stress with me. I also surely wasn't planned as I came too soon after my older sibling. As far as I know, my mom had a physically easy pregnancy & fast delivery with me. My sister was breech, but delivered with forceps (thankfully not a c-section).
But surely(mostly?) there are stressful pregnancies with right-handed kids born. There are other ways to manifest the stresses.
Only one set of my fingerprints isn't symmetrical.
We are fearfully & wonderfully made in spite of problems our parents had!!
Posted by: md, Monday, November 12, 2012, 1:15am; Reply: 8
One of my brothers is a leftie; and there must have been some fetal stress, because he weighed under 5# at birth.
Posted by: dawgmama, Monday, November 12, 2012, 3:21am; Reply: 9
Both my husband (O) and I (A) are righties, but both of our kids(O's) are lefties. I had a very hard time conceiving, so I was on large doses of Clomid fertility pills. I was very stressed in the months preceding conception , but once pregnant I was blessed with great joy, and excellent health! So... was it the drugs, or the stress of trying to get pregnant that 'caused' the left handedness? My  oldest brother is a lefty, and I believe my Grandma was supposed to be, but her teachers forced her to switch.
Posted by: Adopted4, Monday, November 12, 2012, 8:05pm; Reply: 10
I did a google search on the topic to see how much other information is out there on the subject. There are many different theories on left-handednes, but no one clear cause:

Stress hormones leading to oxygen deprivation
Fetal position in the womb
Sonograms, particularly in the 2nd and early 3rd trimester
Heredity (2 lefty parents have about a 30% chance of having lefty child)
Oxygen deprivation at birth

There were many articles that pointed to the correllation between asymmetry and left-handedness, which many of us already know. Also, these articles pointed to a higher incidence of learning disabilities in lefties, which I would agree with based upon my experience home schooling 2 left-handed children. I'm sure that isn't always the case, though.
Posted by: Jane, Monday, November 12, 2012, 8:36pm; Reply: 11
I have a nephew that had some oxygen deprivation at birth who's a leftie.  My younger son is a leftie and I had a relatively easy pregnancy with him. Played tennis until a week or two before he was born. I had more stress with my older son since my mother in law died when I was just a couple of months along and I had some bleeding.  Interesting theory though.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 2:59pm; Reply: 12
This is epigenetic, not just genetic or just environmental. Some people are genetically  more "prone to" being left-handed, and only a small amount of stress in the womb can make that trait come about. Others are "less prone to" left-handedness, and a very stressful prenatal environment will show up in other ways. Some people may even be genetically left-handed, and will end up being left-handed even if everything "goes right" during the pregnancy- though I am curious if that's truly genetic or epigenetics "passed down" from one or both parents.

I remember reading about that, though I can't remember if it was from Dr D or another  book about epigenetics I found at the library. Some epigenetic things are caused by the parents' or even grandparents' experiences, not necessarily what the individual actually experienced in utero. It makes biological sense- say a women experienced a famine (or several famines) in her lifetime, but was well fed during her pregnancies? Shouldn't her children be equally prepared to survive famines as she is? Those same "famine surviving" adjustments lead to obesity and diabetes with today's access to food and processed carbs.
Posted by: Adopted4, Thursday, November 15, 2012, 1:46am; Reply: 13
Ruthie,

Dr. D talked about the epigenetic factors explaining why women who experienced famine in their pregnancies often had children that became obese later in life (or sometimes early in life). The science behind it makes sense and is well documented. He explains that in detail in The Genotype Diet book, as well as some of research behind why fetal stress can cause left-handedness, though this still remains somewhat of a mystery.

When I was googling fetal stress and left-handedness the other day, some articles were making a strong correllation between learning disabilities and other signs of asymmetry related to left-handedness. While some studies show there is a causative genetic link to left-handedness, they couldn't conclude that was the only reason because approximately only 20%-40% of lefties were born to 2 left-handed parents. If genetics were the primary reason for left-handedness, then the percentages of children born to left-handed parents should be closer to 90%.

I think my left-handed niece I referred to probably inherited her left-handedness, due to the fact that my sister had a pretty easy pregnancy and she does not suffer from learning disabilities or low I.Q. But I still think my left-handed son and daughter probably suffered oxygen deprivation or fetal stress resulting in their left-handedness. They most certainly have learning apparent learning disabilities. My daughter also has cranio-facial abnormalities and my son has a lot of allergies, both of which were mentioned as common correllations with left-handedness.

I was remembering listening to a testimony a couple years ago when Tim Tebow was a rising star with the Denver Broncos. His parents talked of Tim being their "miracle baby" and just how truly amazing their story was. I don't remember all the details, but to make a long story short, there were no doctors during that time that gave them any hope she would give birth to a living, breathing baby. The mother had physical issues that put her at risk, and doctors were telling her to abort, or that the baby would most certainly die. I remember hearing that after giving birth to Tim, the doctors discovered the placenta was very abnormal and not attached to the uterine wall for an unknown period of time. Nobody could explained how Tim was born alive, but they knew it was divine intervention and that their prayers were answered. I'm saying all this because Tim is a left-handed quarterback and there was most certainly a lot of fetal stress and significant oxygen deprivation present before birth.
Posted by: wayland B+, Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2:57pm; Reply: 14
There's no doubt in my mind that there is a connection between 'stress in the womb' and being left-handed.
My mother attempted suicide 2-3 mo. before I was born.
I'm left-handed.
Posted by: Adopted4, Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 1:43am; Reply: 15
Quoted from wayland B+
There's no doubt in my mind that there is a connection between 'stress in the womb' and being left-handed.
My mother attempted suicide 2-3 mo. before I was born.
I'm left-handed.


That's so sad. I'm sorry to hear that. My MIL has attempted suicide also (I don't think during pregnancy though)and has pretty much always had a difficult and stress-filled life. But, my husband is strictly right handed, although is very asymmetrical and is an Explorer probably due to fetal stress.
Posted by: wayland B+, Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 4:05pm; Reply: 16
Since this particularly stressful event happened during the third trimester, it probably didn't have any influence on the development of my fingerprint patterns. My fingerprint patterns are exactly the same on both hands. i.e. both left and righ thumbprints are ulnar loop etc..
Posted by: Bekki Shining Bearheart, Friday, January 15, 2016, 3:38pm; Reply: 17
Fascinating!
I am left-handed and few of my finger prints match hand to hand, plus the lines in my palms are completely different. (I studied palmistry in my 20s, and they make a big deal of those lines, especially if the two hands are different.)
My mom was a heavy smoker. So was my dad. I always figured that was the main stressor. Fits with the oxygen deprivation. I know there was some stress in their relationship too.  

I'm the oldest, none of my siblings (two sisters, BT B, and a brother, BT O) are left-handed. I think there have been other left-handed people in my family but don't have details. Both parenst, and I think all grandparents, right-handed.
Posted by: Easy E, Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:24pm; Reply: 18
I am left handed dominant (writing and fine motor things) in some things and right hand dominant in others (throwing, more power).  My mom is O- and I am A+, perhaps this was a source of fetal stress.  I think she had some stress around that time but nothing major.  I was always quite healthy and energetic, if i got ill it came fast and fairly hard and went fast.  Definitely wired a bit differently though, but pretty normal overall;)  3 of 5 prints don't match.  Everyone else in my immediate family is right handed.
Posted by: Patty H, Friday, January 15, 2016, 8:53pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from Easy E
I am left handed dominant (writing and fine motor things) in some things and right hand dominant in others (throwing, more power).  My mom is O- and I am A+, perhaps this was a source of fetal stress.  I think she had some stress around that time but nothing major.  I was always quite healthy and energetic, if i got ill it came fast and fairly hard and went fast.  Definitely wired a bit differently though, but pretty normal overall;)  3 of 5 prints don't match.  Everyone else in my immediate family is right handed.


Yes - Dr. D has written about this fetal stress - a type A mother carrying a type O child.  I remember this because my Mom is type A and I am type O.  I don't think in this case the rhesus type matters.  While I am right handed, I do have a radial loop on my left index finger which is a hallmark of fetal stress and the Explorer GenoType even though I am a Hunter with a significant amount of Explorer tendencies.  My mother was also under a lot of stress during her pregnancy because the wall of her uterus with thin due to three C sections so she was not supposed to have more children.  I was a mistake.  I believe that left handedness is only one of many ways in which fetal stress can be expressed but it is probably the most noticeable and potentially the most common.
Posted by: Adopted4, Saturday, January 16, 2016, 4:58pm; Reply: 20
Funny how this 2 year old thread has been resurrected. It is a fascinating topic!

Easy E, my mom is also O- and my dad is A+ . My siblings and I all are right handed. The RH factor was handled with a Rhogam shot given to my mom early on in her childbearing years. Also, my mom had 5 children in 7 years time, and she told me how tired and nauseous she felt through her whole pregnancy with me (I'm the youngest), understandably so. Although, we were all very much planned pregnancies.

Patty, I don't remember if you said you have 1 or 2 dyslexic children, but dyslexia is genetic and supposedly many/most dyslexics are left handed or strongly ambidextrous.
Posted by: Patty H, Saturday, January 16, 2016, 9:33pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from Adopted4
Funny how this 2 year old thread has been resurrected. It is a fascinating topic!

Easy E, my mom is also O- and my dad is A+ . My siblings and I all are right handed. The RH factor was handled with a Rhogam shot given to my mom early on in her childbearing years. Also, my mom had 5 children in 7 years time, and she told me how tired and nauseous she felt through her whole pregnancy with me (I'm the youngest), understandably so. Although, we were all very much planned pregnancies.

Patty, I don't remember if you said you have 1 or 2 dyslexic children, but dyslexia is genetic and supposedly many/most dyslexics are left handed or strongly ambidextrous.


Both my kids are dyslexic - one mildly, one moderately.  My husband is mildly dyslexic but I am pretty sure his dad had more significant LD issues, so it is genetic.  All of them are (were since my FIL passed last summer) right handed and not ambidextrous.
Posted by: Captain_Janeway, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 8:36pm; Reply: 22
My brother in law is left handed and so is his son, his father, one of his sisters and one brother,my sister who is the wife and mother of this family is right handed. I have another nephew who is also a leftie but both his parents are righties.

I worked at a small biotech company where there were an unusually high number of lefties. I think around 18 or 19 percent. The owner was also a lefty himself and had a degree in physics and a masters in molecular biology. I have often heard that lefties are drawn to careers in science and technology and many of them are creative. This appears to be the case for my former coworkers and family although my other nephew chose a career in international business and plays the guitar really well.
Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 8:49pm; Reply: 23
Interesting topic.  My mother was an A and my father an O, both positive.  I am O-
I'm sure my mother had fetal stess.  My father was a Navy test pilot during the 2nd WW while she was pregnant with me.  He was off flying around and she was home in Boston with her parents.  Two weeks after I was born her father passed away supposedly after climbing a hill to see me at the hospital.  She always felt guilt for that and lost her milk.  
I'm not a leftie and neither is my brother but we both have sons that are lefties....
Posted by: 75592 (Guest), Monday, February 8, 2016, 12:51am; Reply: 24
I'm pretty sure for me, its genetic. Both  my cousin and our uncle are lefties (I'm willing to bet theres more in my family, I just haven't noticed). Dyslexia also runs in us lefties in my family, however, I was forced to switch to my right hand as a kid (such were the times). I wouldn't say i'm ambidextrous, but sometimes I instinctively grab a guitar to play leftie, and I can do sports with my left side (putting, kicking off etc). My mom was not stressed while pregnant with me but did smoke (again, those were the times, however she claimed to cut back during the pregnancy...I doubt it), otherwise, she ate well and didn't drink.
Posted by: Lola, Monday, February 8, 2016, 12:53am; Reply: 25
nin
which is your bloodtype? :)
Posted by: Adopted4, Monday, February 8, 2016, 9:11pm; Reply: 26
Quoted from 75592
I'm pretty sure for me, its genetic. Both  my cousin and our uncle are lefties (I'm willing to bet theres more in my family, I just haven't noticed). Dyslexia also runs in us lefties in my family, however, I was forced to switch to my right hand as a kid (such were the times). I wouldn't say i'm ambidextrous, but sometimes I instinctively grab a guitar to play leftie, and I can do sports with my left side (putting, kicking off etc). My mom was not stressed while pregnant with me but did smoke (again, those were the times, however she claimed to cut back during the pregnancy...I doubt it), otherwise, she ate well and didn't drink.


Welcome ningurl.

My left handed son used to eat with his right hand. We noticed it after his adoption. All other activities he favored his left hand or left leg (kicking balls, etc.). A couple years later he had a mild break in his right wrist and started eating with his left hand. After he recovered, he never switched back to eating with his right hand and remains totally left handed.

It was probably a cultural thing that forced him to eat with his right hand while he was an orphan. Funny the strange mindset that some have about people that are "different". My youngest daughter was also not treated fairly in her orphanage due to her disabilities, though she was eating with her left hand from the time she was adopted without switching.
Posted by: Patty H, Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 2:39pm; Reply: 27
What you describe, Adopted4, can also be a sign of neither side of the brain being dominant, which can lead to a host of LD issues.  Although it could be that your son was dominant on one side but was forced to eat with his right hand when he was a baby.  See below:

https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/cross-dominance-relation-learning-disabilities
Posted by: Adopted4, Thursday, February 11, 2016, 12:03am; Reply: 28
Quoted from Patty H
What you describe, Adopted4, can also be a sign of neither side of the brain being dominant, which can lead to a host of LD issues.  Although it could be that your son was dominant on one side but was forced to eat with his right hand when he was a baby.  See below:

https://www.learningsuccessblog.com/cross-dominance-relation-learning-disabilities


That's a very interesting link. Another thing about my son; he has had vision problems since he was a child and was diagnosed with a lazy eye by one ophthamologist. The doc said he would actually read primarily with one eye and over time the less dominant eye became weaker due to lack of use. We did some occupational therapy at home, and even still now he does some eye exercises to help improve vision so he doesn't need to wear his glasses all the time.

Another thing that came to mind was that my right handed daughter appeared to be quite ambidextrous in her toddler and early preschool years. It took longer to "work out" which hand she preferred to write/color/draw with than I had seen in other young children I had cared for over the years. When it came time for me to start home schooling her (about age 3 1/2 or so), I just decided to start teaching handwriting with her right hand since I am right handed and I thought it'd be easier for me to teach her that way. My husband and I reasoned that she was probably more right hand dominant, but because she is blind in her right eye she may have felt comfortable coloring/drawing with her left hand. Anyway, she no longer switched back to left handedness once her handwriting skills developed.
Posted by: Patty H, Thursday, February 11, 2016, 2:31am; Reply: 29
Quoted from Adopted4


That's a very interesting link. Another thing about my son; he has had vision problems since he was a child and was diagnosed with a lazy eye by one ophthamologist. The doc said he would actually read primarily with one eye and over time the less dominant eye became weaker due to lack of use. We did some occupational therapy at home, and even still now he does some eye exercises to help improve vision so he doesn't need to wear his glasses all the time.

Another thing that came to mind was that my right handed daughter appeared to be quite ambidextrous in her toddler and early preschool years. It took longer to "work out" which hand she preferred to write/color/draw with than I had seen in other young children I had cared for over the years. When it came time for me to start home schooling her (about age 3 1/2 or so), I just decided to start teaching handwriting with her right hand since I am right handed and I thought it'd be easier for me to teach her that way. My husband and I reasoned that she was probably more right hand dominant, but because she is blind in her right eye she may have felt comfortable coloring/drawing with her left hand. Anyway, she no longer switched back to left handedness once her handwriting skills developed.


Information is power and I hope that even if you decide this information is not relevant to you and your children, you may find you want to pass it on to someone else whose child(ren) have issues that seem like this link might help.  It does, truly, take a community to raise a child.
Posted by: Rupert60, Friday, April 29, 2016, 8:09am; Reply: 30
When I was expecting my 2nd child I had a little boy to look after who was hyperactive and with severe eczema. I was also in an abusive marriage. Very often he would only buy to eat what was cheap at the end of the day in the local supermarket, which frequently meant cream cakes. He would happily buy cider for himself whilst telling me to put the fruit back because it was too expensive. So lots of stress plus a poor diet.
Anyway needless to say my daughter was born and is left handed.
Although I did read that if you have more than 3 ultrasounds during a pregnancy then the chance of left handedness is greater, which I did. However that would be a recently modern phenomenon.
She is the only left handed one in 2 large families.
Posted by: Adopted4, Sunday, May 1, 2016, 12:01am; Reply: 31
Quoted from Rupert60
When I was expecting my 2nd child I had a little boy to look after who was hyperactive and with severe eczema. I was also in an abusive marriage. Very often he would only buy to eat what was cheap at the end of the day in the local supermarket, which frequently meant cream cakes. He would happily buy cider for himself whilst telling me to put the fruit back because it was too expensive. So lots of stress plus a poor diet.
Anyway needless to say my daughter was born and is left handed.
Although I did read that if you have more than 3 ultrasounds during a pregnancy then the chance of left handedness is greater, which I did. However that would be a recently modern phenomenon.
She is the only left handed one in 2 large families.


Very sorry to hear of your family troubles. I hope your life is better and that you and your children are eating well for your/their types. Thank you for sharing your story.
Posted by: Rupert60, Thursday, May 5, 2016, 8:18am; Reply: 32
Thank you for your comment.
It was a tough time but I managed to get myself and the children away and start again.
I try and gain understanding and insight from all that happens in my life so that at least it never seems like time wasted..
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