BabyGenderPrediction

Mar 132013
 

Baby!

While we all know that the best way to predict your baby’s gender is with an ultrasound and not with Drano, taking a look at some of the overall trends in gender and birth might give us some insight as to how things might be leaning (at least while you wait for that 20-week ultrasound).

Here are some factors that may play a role in whether or not you have a boy:

  • You live with your partner. One particular study looked at 86,000 pregnancies. Couples that lived together when the baby was conceived were slightly higher to have a boy. 51.5% of births were male in the study. There’s no explanation, of course, why this domestic arrangement would help produce a boy, and the margin is very slight.

  • You’ve been living with your partner under a year. One study shows a slight increase in male births – just under 1% – when the couples lived together less than a year. One theory is that these couples are more likely to have sex frequently, giving a slight advantage to the male sperm. Here again, the odds are very small.

  • You have high stress. High stress periods, such as those following a war, tend to lead to slightly higher male birth rates by about 52% to 48% for girls. There are theories as to why this might be the case, including the higher stress levels of certain hormones like cortisol or testosterone in a woman’s system.

  • You have a higher caloric intake. A British study looked at more than 700 women during pregnancy. The women who had an average intake of 2,400 calories a day or more, 56% had boys. For those women who had an average of around 2,250 or less, 45% had boys.

While you can’t truly control whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl, sometimes it’s fun to speculate. There’s no reason to go out and start eating more food if you’re hoping for a boy or go on a diet if you’re hoping for a girl, of course. The good news is that, no matter what, you have about a 50% chance of having a baby of the preferred gender.

 

Mar 052013
 

Amniocentesis

 Amniocentesis is a test that your doctor will use to try to gather certain information about the health of your baby. It involves taking a sample of the fluid surrounding your baby inside the uterus, known as amniotic fluid.

Most of the time, a woman undergoes amniocentesis in order to decide whether her baby has a chromosomal or genetic abnormality. Very often, it’s used to test for Down Syndrome. Amniocentesis is usually done between weeks 16 and 22 of pregnancy.

Here are some of the reasons that amniocentesis is performed:

  • To look at your baby’s lungs if an early delivery is being considered due to medical reasons.

  • To look for the presence of a uterine infection, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.

  • To examine whether your baby is all right in a situation in which you have Rh sensitization. Rh sensitization can occur when your blood type is different from your baby’s. (More and more, however, doctors are using Doppler ultrasound for this situation instead of amniocentesis.

There are a number of defects or disorders that amniocentesis can check for, including:

  • Down Syndrome, as mentioned above.

  • Other chromosomal orders like trisomy 13 and sex chromosome abnormalities like Klinefelter syndrome. Amniocentesis is nearly 100% accurate at detecting these disorders.

  • Identifying other genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis. There are actually several hundred disorders on the list that amniocentesis can identify.

  • Neural tube defects including conditions like anencephaly and spina bifida.

There are a number of birth defects that can’t be discovered through the amniocentesis procedure, including things like a malformation of the heart or a cleft palate. However, many of these conditions can be identified during an ultrasound.

There is some risk of a miscarriage with amniocentesis, and therefore it’s not necessarily a routine procedure. While the risk is less than 1%, for most women it’s not necessary unless there is a specific reason to believe that there might be a problem with your baby or your pregnancy.

Feb 252013
 

Many women hit a certain point in life where the desire to be a mom becomes almost overwhelming. Why is this, exactly? Maybe it’s because your friends and family seem to all be having babies; maybe it’s some primal urge that helps the human race go on. Maybe it’s cultural expectations that pressure women to have children, or maybe it’s just because you love kids. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the root cause, it’s very common.

 

Before you start deciding whether you want a little boy or a little girl, however, you should be ready. Here are some indicators that you’re ready to take on the challenges that motherhood presents:

  • You want to be a mom. This really is the first sign you may be ready. Many young girls fantasize about motherhood and taking care of a baby. Truth be told, taking care of a baby doll is a lot different than taking care of a real baby. It’s both more responsibility and more joy than you can possibly imagine. Talk to other moms about their experiences and do some research so you know what really is involved in being a mom.

  • You’re responsible. You need to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of a child. If you can keep up with your bills, have met your educational goals or are well on the way, meet expectations at work and still have time to do other things, you may be just about ready. On the other hand, if you’re making decisions daily that you regret later, you might spend some more time getting ready before you jump in.

  • You love kids. Now, to be sure, most parents believe that their own children are much better-behaved and well-adjusted than their peers. It’s all right; that’s what parents are supposed to think. But if every crying baby at the supermarket makes you cringe, you might think about spending some quality time around babies before you have one of your own. Volunteer for nursery duty at your religious institution or during a social event and get a good feel for the little darlings first.

  • You’re ready to give some things up. You’re going to give up your body for nine months as host to your baby. You’re going to have a lot less free time than before. You’re going to be on a restrictive diet during pregnancy. Make sure you know what’s involved before you agree to it.

You’re the best judge of whether or not you’re ready to be a mom. Measuring yourself up against some of these criteria can help you make that decision.

Feb 092013
 

Wondering about the gender of the baby you’re carrying is as natural as breathing. Any expectant mother who tells you she isn’t curious about whether she’s having a boy or a girl either already knows (or thinks she knows) or is lying.

These days, we expect to know the gender of our babies with relative certainty by the midway point of the pregnancy. Ultrasound technology has advanced to the point that we can know with 90% accuracy whether we’re carrying a boy or a girl at 20 weeks gestation. That’s great, except:

  • No one really wants to wait 20 weeks to find out
  • 90% accuracy still means 1 in 10 will get wrong information about baby’s gender

Some are content to wait and wonder, but many want to know sooner. Since moving the ultrasound up isn’t generally an option, we’re left with using traditional baby gender prediction methods or ponying up to buy commercially available baby gender tests.

Traditional Baby Gender Prediction Methods

Beliefs about traditional baby gender prediction methods range from blind faith to dismissing them as old wives’ tales. Blind faith in a scientifically unproven prediction method probably doesn’t give you any better chances of accurately predicting your baby’s gender than flipping a coin and assigning heads to “it’s a boy” and tails to “it’s a girl.”

Still, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that there might be a very good reason why some old wives’ tales have stuck around long enough to become part of our oral tradition. Maybe there’s some truth to them. Many hold firmly to beliefs such as:

  • Where you’re carrying the baby (high or low) indicates the baby’s gender
  • Suspending your wedding ring on a string over your belly and observing whether it swings back and forth (it’s a boy!) or in circles (it’s a girl!) can predict your baby’s gender
  • Mixing your urine with Draino can predict your baby’s gender: If the color changes, buy blue paint, if it stays the same, invest in pink

At the very worst, these methods offer a 50/50 chance of predicting your baby’s gender and can be fun.

Other Medical Baby Gender Prediction Methods

Other than ultrasound, the two main medical gender prediction methods are amniocenteses and CVS testing. Unfortunately, both of these are more invasive and carry more risk than ultrasound, so doctors won’t order them just to satisfy your curiosity. Generally, you need to have a serious risk factor in your pregnancy before a doctor will order one. These tests are about 99% accurate.

Of course, there is no perfect gender prediction test. Even the most accurate and scientific tests still have the potential to get it wrong. Who knows? Maybe that’s to keep us guessing, if only a little, until the big day finally comes.

Feb 062013
 

You want your nursery to be perfect for your little bundle of joy, and once you can accurately predict your baby’s gender it becomes a whole lot easier. You’ll have plenty of design and decoration options available to you. Depending on your style and preferences you might have a pink explosion in the nursery with ponies and fairy princesses and ballerina shoes.

On the other hand, you might go for more neutral design choices, not wanting to put too much social stereotyping into the design. Animals, natural scenes, and interesting colors can be just as appropriate. (This also gives you the advantage of not having to wait to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl before decorating.)

Regardless of how you decorate, there are some essential components your little girl’s nursery must have:

  • Sleeping space. Your baby girl needs a flat, firm mattress. You’ll need to have a crib for that mattress, and it should be one in which the mattress fits snugly. You should be able to get just one finger between your baby girl’s mattress and the side of the crib. In addition, the crib slats need to be under 2.5 inches away from one another, and the top rails of the crib should be at least 24 inches above the top of the mattress. You’ll want fitted crib sheets, some receiving blankets and a heavier blanket or two as well.
  • The right sounds and lighting. A nightlight is helpful for you when you need to feed your newborn girl in the middle of the night. It will help you get her up to change her without waking her, as well. You also might consider something to make noise, such as a CD or MP3 player. If your baby has trouble sleeping, there are a number of baby sleep albums available that may help her get some rest.
  • A place to rock and feed. A rocking chair is the traditional choice, although you can rock your new baby girl in an armchair just as well if you need to.
  • The baby monitor. You need to be able to hear your little one at night, and a baby monitor helps you do that.

Add a few decorative accents and a changing table and you’ll have everything you need and want in your girl’s nursery.

Feb 012013
 

Putting together a nursery can be a challenge on several levels. Not only are you faced with important design and decorating decisions, there’s also the little matter of actually carrying it out. To make matters worse, until you can accurately predict your baby’s gender you really have to do some waiting to see before you know what kind of design motifs you’re going to choose.

Once you’ve hit that 20 week prenatal appointment and have determined your baby’s gender, it’s time to get to work. If you’re having a boy, here are some of the essential nursery items you need to have in your baby boy’s room:

  • Crib. You’ve got to have somewhere for your baby to sleep. You want to make sure that the crib you pick isn’t under recall from the manufactuerer for safety reasons. The slats should be less than 2 ½ inches apart, with top rails at least 2 feet above the mattress.
  • Mattress. The mattress needs to be flat and firm. It should have a snug fit inside the crib, and you shouldn’t be able to get two full fingers between the crib and the mattress.
  • Blankets and bedding. You’ll need three or four fitted crib sheets, and some days you’ll use all of them. You’ll also need half a dozen lighter receiving blankets and a couple of heavier blankets if you live in a colder climate.
  • Chair for rocking and feeding. Rocking chairs and armchairs are both good choices here.
  • A noise maker. A music box, a CD player or even a white noise machine can all help baby sleep at night.
  • A mobile. If you choose to have a mobile in your baby boy’s room, you’ll want to stick with black and white images. These are stimulating for baby, but won’t be as likely to be a distraction or overly stimulating.
  • A nightlight. This is as much for you as it is for your baby boy. You want to avoid stubbed toes, and in many cases you’ll want to be able to get baby up and change him without waking him with too much light.
  • Baby monitor. This lets you hear baby at night, and is a real must-have.

You’ll want to add specific types of décor for your boy, as well. This doesn’t have to be traditional blue; you can use various themed elements such as sports or cars, or you can choose more neutral themes such as nature and animals. Once you know your baby’s gender, you can start making some of those important decisions, too.

 

Jan 292013
 

Let’s face it: We all want to know whether it’s a boy or a girl as soon as we know we’re pregnant. While medical science is giving us those answers sooner and sooner through ultrasound and amniocentesis, waiting until the beginning of the second trimester can be grueling. For most of us, that leaves depending on traditional tests, which aren’t exactly scientifically based. What if there was a scientifically proven test which could let us know earlier?

Blood DNA Tests

There is. It has been available for several years now, but don’t expect your doctor to tell you about it unless you have a medical need to know whether you are having a boy or a girl (apparently, most doctors don’t consider gnawing curiosity a medical need). Fortunately, the test-which tests the DNA in the mother’s blood to determine gender-is widely available online. The basic idea behind the tests is that some of the baby’s DNA is present in the mother’s blood. Therefore, if they can detect Y-chromosomes in the blood, you’re having a boy; if not, you’re having a girl.

The blood tests are noninvasive. They use blood from a finger prick, similar to that which diabetics use to test their blood sugar levels. They’re also highly accurate. The label on one popular brand, Pink or Blue, advertises over 99% accuracy when used after seven weeks of pregnancy. Scientific studies aren’t quite as optimistic about the blood tests’ accuracy, rating them at 95% accurate when taken at seven weeks of pregnancy or later.

Why Your Doctor (Probably) Won’t Prescribe One to You

Doctors have these blood gender prediction tests available to them, but are often hesitant to recommend them to patients. This is based in large part on the fear that expectant parents may use them for gender selection purposes, leading to an increase in selective abortions. This is big enough concern that Pink or Blue refuses to sell their products in countries which have a history of widespread gender selection practices. Doctors do occasionally prescribe blood DNA tests for gender prediction when there is a medical need to know the babies gender, such as when there is a risk of a gender-specific hereditary disease.

Fortunately, they’re not cost prohibitive. The tests themselves can be purchased for around $25. If you have your own lab, that’s a real bargain. Lab testing generally costs between $250 and $300. Whether $300 is worth knowing your baby’s gender a month early is up to you, of course. If not, you can always consult the Chinese Gender Prediction Calendar. 

Jan 232013
 

boygirlfootprints

 

For as long as couples have been having babies, couples have been trying to accurately predict whether they should invest in wallpaper with butterflies and flowers or airplanes and trucks. Today, medical science can give couples a fairly definitive answer about the baby’s gender by the second trimester.

Still, most couples want to try to at least guess at the baby’s gender before they know for sure. At worst, baby gender prediction methods have a 50/50 shot at being correct and they aren’t generally harmful to the expectant mother or the child.

Still, even medical professionals acknowledge that some baby gender prediction methods have more validity than others. Here are some of the gender prediction methods many doctors recognize as being at least reasonably accurate:

  • Beats per minute. It’s said that if your baby’s heart rate is faster than 140 beats per minute, you’re having a girl. While medical professionals don’t acknowledge the number, they do acknowledge that baby girls’ heart rates are faster than baby boys’. Unfortunately, the difference isn’t really noticeable until the third trimester, well after you can know your baby’s gender much more accurately based on ultrasound imaging.
  • Morning sickness throughout the day. Traditionally, it has been said that women who have morning sickness all day long are carrying a girl. Medical professionals acknowledge that women who are carrying girls are more likely to have severe or prolonged morning sickness due to higher levels of hCG, a pregnancy hormone which expectant mothers have at noticeably higher levels when carrying a girl.

Most medical professionals will tell you that other gender prediction methods, whether the Chinese gender prediction calendar, the Drano method, dangling a ring in front of your belly or some other method, are unfounded and have a roughly 50% chance of correctly predicting your baby’s gender.

As early as 18 weeks, your ultrasound can predict your baby’s gender with an accuracy of about 85%. That’s significantly better than any traditional method, including the ones which doctors recognize as having some degree of validity.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to predict your baby’s gender ahead of the ultrasound. By all means, if you have a traditional gender prediction method you believe in or enjoy, have a good time with it. Who knows? There could be something to it that medical science simply hasn’t figured out. At worst, you have a 50% chance of correctly predicting your baby’s gender.

 

Jan 142013
 

Chocolate

 

Even since couples have been having babies, they’ve wanted to figure out ahead of time whether they were having a baby boy or a baby girl. In today’s world, we have medical imaging which can predict a baby’s gender with a high degree of accuracy as early as the twelve weeks into the pregnancy (around the beginning of the second trimester). Still, most parents are curious and many are willing to try more traditional methods of gender prediction while they wait for the official results.

Here are some of the more popular traditional methods of gender prediction:

  1. Watch your cravings. Many people believe that the kinds of food you crave during your pregnancy will give you a hint as to whether you’re having a boy or a girl. Are you craving potato chips and pickles? Stock up on blue paint. Would you rather have chocolate and ice cream? Stick with pink.
  2. Mayan numerology. Lots of airplay has been given to Mayan predictions of the world’s end in December 2012, but they had a more useful legend for expectant parents. According to their tradition, if a mother’s age (in years) and the year of conception are both even or both odd numbers, you will have a girl. If one is even and the other is odd, you’ll have a strapping Mayan warrior.
  3. Zits are for girls. Some believe that you are more likely to break out in zits if you are having a girl. Traditionally, this is believed to be because that little cutie growing inside of you is stealing as much of your beauty as she can grab.
  4. His and Lows. One of the most widely accepted gender prediction methods is to simply look into a full length mirror and see whether you’re carrying the baby high or low. If your baby bump is low, it’s a bouncing baby boy. If you’re carrying higher, it’s a girl. Of course, by the time you can tell whether you’re carrying high or low, you can have the ultrasound technician give you a much more accurate prediction based on what kind of genitalia she sees.
  5. Chinese Prediction Calendar. When a prediction method is used for 7,000 years, there’s a chance there’s something to it. Many Chinese (and an increasing number of Westerners) swear by the Chinese gender prediction calendar, which used a mother’s age at the time of conception and the month the baby was conceived to predict babies’ gender.

Most gender prediction methods have their defenders who swear by them and detractors who think of them as fun but unscientific diversions. Even the worst gender prediction method has a 50% chance of success, though, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with being curious while you wait for the definitive answer.

Dec 182012
 

Gender party cupcakes

 

If you ask your parents or grandparents, they will probably they will probably tell you that there was a time when expectant parents had to wait for the big day when baby made her (or his) grand entrance to find out the gender of their new baby. These days, most of us find out our baby’s gender during ultrasounds in the second trimester. As imaging improves, gender predictions are quite accurate.

But who says you need to wait until the second trimester to accurately predict whether you should be shopping for pink wallpaper or blue paint? Not the Chinese. The Chinese have been using gender prediction methods for thousands of years. Some claim they have over 90% accuracy.

The primary method used for early gender prediction is the Chinese gender prediction calendar. The version most often used was discovered in a royal tomb in the 1300s. The calendar is believed to have been developed by ancient Chinese scientists. There is some disagreement regarding how long the gender prediction calendar has been in use. Many suggest that the Chinese have been using gender prediction calendars for 7,000 years or more. Others suggest that the practice is somewhat more recent. In any case, Chinese have used the calendar for no less than 700 years.

When Chinese emigrated to the West, they brought the gender prediction calendar with them. While many Western people view it with suspicion, or see it as being entertaining, many others have come to embrace gender prediction calendars, along with other Eastern health care practices.

How It Works

To use a Chinese gender prediction calendar, you need to know the age of the mother in years at the time of conception and the lunar month at the time of conception. With these two pieces of information, you consult the gender prediction calendar. Proponents claim that you can predict the gender of your baby by cross referencing the age of the mother and the month at the time of conception.

Uses

Historically, the Chinese people have always preferred to have male offspring. Culturally, this was considered more prestigious. Historically, it was also more practical in a largely agrarian society.

Because many Chinese couples preferred to have boys, many would use the Chinese gender prediction calendar pro-actively. Essentially, they would consult the calendar to see when their best chances of conceiving a girl were. By saving sexual intercourse for those times, they believed that they would improve their chances of bearing sons. Presumably, the same method could be used if someone wanted to conceive a daughter.