Mar 182013
 

It's a Girl

 

If you’re like most parents-to-be, you just can’t wait for that 20-week ultrasound that will let you know, with almost certain accuracy, whether you’re having a boy or a girl. And, while Chinese gender prediction calendars and wedding ring tests might be fun to look at, there is, of course, no science behind them.

That doesn’t leave us with much, of course. There are a few factors that seem to be related to whether you’re having a girl that you can consider, however. Let’s take a look at some statistical reasons that suggest you might be more likely to conceive a girl:

  • You’re both 40 years old or over. Older couples are more likely to have a girl than a boy, by about a margin of 52% to 48%. It’s thought that this is because of changing hormones, and of the nature of female sperm and its ability to make the journey to fertilize an egg, which can be more difficult as we age.

  • You have severe morning sickness. This one sounds like an old wives’ tale, and to be sure the theory didn’t start in science. However, a review of several studies on hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness) showed that 55% of women who suffered from the condition had girls, while the rest had boys. This may be related to high levels of estrogen, which is thought to influence morning sickness.

  • You’re from a tropical climate and conceive your baby there. One study looked at birth data from around the world and showed that a greater percentage of girls are born in the region around the earth’s equator than anywhere else. Researchers aren’t sure, but this could be related to levels of melatonin or the temperature of the region altering the survival quality of male or female sperm.

  • The male partner’s job includes high stress. Several studies have looked at high stress jobs, including deep sea divers, professional drivers, submarine technicians and pilots and discovered that more girls are born to men who work in these professions.

Of course, the best way to know whether you’re having a girl is that faithful ultrasound. In the meantime, you can use some of these factors to try to make an educated baby gender prediction.

 Posted by at 3:01 pm
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.

 

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
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.

 Posted by at 10:20 am
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.

 

 Posted by at 11:30 am
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.

 Posted by at 11:55 am
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.  

 Posted by at 10:55 am
Dec 102012
 

 

Trying to guess whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl can be fun, at times. There are plenty of myths and old wives’ tales that can keep you busy and guessing for hours on end. Every one of these tests and guessing methods is accurate – half of the time.

Let’s take a look at some of the more unscientific methods of baby gender prediction, and start to separate some of the myth from reality:

  • Carrying position. This method of baby gender prediction says that if you’re carrying your baby low in the belly, you’re going to have a girl. If it’s high, it’s a boy. It’s false, of course; where you carry your baby is based on your muscles, your baby’s position, the shape of your body, and the amount of pregnancy weight you gain.
  • Heart rate. Repeated studies have shown that there is no difference in fetal heart rate that’s based on gender – at least during early pregnancy. There is a single study that suggests that a female heart rate will beat faster than a male’s heart rate after 30 weeks of pregnancy, but this data hasn’t been confirmed via additional research.
  • Swinging your ring. This one is a fun one to do at a baby shower, but there is obviously no science involved here. You’re supposed to hang your wedding ring from a strand of hair graciously donated by the baby’s father. If the ring rocks back and forth, it’s a boy. If it moves in a circular motion, it’s a girl.
  • Drano. This one isn’t only unscientific, it can be dangerous. Variations of this one exist. The idea is to stir a sample of your urine into some Drano. If the mix turns green in color, you’re going to have a boy. Drano is a caustic chemical, however, and not particularly safe to breathe during pregnancy. Avoid this one if you can.
  • Craving sweets. The idea here is that if you crave sweets during pregnancy, you’re going to have a boy. Crave sour foods, and it’s going to be a girl. The truth is that if you’re craving anything at all, it has to do with changing hormones and/or a greater sense of smell that exists during pregnancy.

While some of these are fun, there’s no real scientific proof that any of them work. Your best bet s to see what the ultrasound says at 18-20 weeks.

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Dec 062012
 

 

 

One of the most pressing questions on an expectant couple’s minds is whether they’re going to have a boy or a girl. Most couples find out definitively at that 18 to 20 week prenatal appointment via an ultrasound. Some couples, however, might have a procedure known as Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which can also predict baby’s gender.

Here are some things you should know about CVS:

  • CVS is primarily for detecting certain problems. If your doctor suspects a problem with your baby, you may be asked to undergo this testing.
  • CVS is done during your first trimester of pregnancy. If the results of the CVS indicate a serious problem with your baby, you may have some difficult decisions to make. For example, you may know that your baby will be born with certain conditions or defects, and this gives you time to prepare before your baby’s birth. If the problem is one that can be fatal to you or the baby, you may have to choose to end the pregnancy. Sometimes, the news from CVS is good, and will be a relief.
  • There are specific diseases and defects that CVS looks for. In fact, the list is in the hundreds. For example, it can detect Down Syndrome. It can’t detect every potential problem, however. It won’t detect neural tube defects, including those such as spina bifida. If you’re at risk for neural tube defects, you might undergo an amniocentesis instead of CVS.
  • CVS is not routinely done. There is a slight risk of miscarriage with CVS, therefore it’s not done unless necessary. Somewhere between 0.25% and 1% of women who undergo CVS will have a miscarriage. The test carries with it some risk, which your doctor will discuss with you ahead of time.
  • CVS is very expensive. If you’re over the age of 35, your insurance company will probably pay for the test due to the increased risks. Many insurance companies won’t cover it if you’re younger. If your insurance doesn’t cover CVS, there may be other procedures or tests that can be done in its place.
  • CVS will tell you your baby’s gender. Among other information, CVS will let you know for certain whether you’re having a boy or a girl.

CVS isn’t routinely used for baby gender prediction, because of the cost and the risks involved.

 Posted by at 11:00 am
Dec 032012
 
English: An ultrasound of a human fetus, measu...

English: An ultrasound of a human fetus, measured to be 1.67 cm from crown to rump, and estimated therefore to have gestational age 8 weeks and 1 day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Let’s face it: the sooner you know your baby’s gender, the better. The technology is there; at around 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, you’re going to know with nearly 100% accuracy whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl. Yet, there are many other methods of baby gender predictions that may not be as scientific (and may also not be as accurate).

One newer, trendy method you may have heard of is the Ramzi’s Method. This method of baby gender prediction was developed by Dr. Saad Ramzi Ismail. The basic premise here is to use a sonogram to look at the location of the fetus, placenta, and other details at six weeks of age.

This scan measures gestational age, and it measures where the placenta is located. According to the research done by Dr. Ramzi Ismail, at the age of six weeks after conception, around 97% of male fetuses had either the placenta or the chorionic villi on the right hand side of the patient’s uterus. For female fetuses, either the chronic villi or placenta was on the left uterine side in about the same percentage of cases.

Traditional ultrasound done at 18-20 weeks specifically looks for the presence of sex organs. Obviously, sex organs aren’t detectable at six weeks into pregnancy.

This method is new, and fairly controversial. If you have an ultrasound early, you might talk to the doctor and the sonographer about the baby’s position and the placement of the placenta and chronic villi. While your doctor will probably not consider this placement to be a reliable determination of gender, it can be an interesting way to try to guess your baby’s gender ahead of time.

Until more research is done, the Ramzi’s Method will remain controversial. Controlled studies must take place that can validate or invalidate the result. In the meantime, take it all with a grain of salt, and use the information the way you would any other unscientific method of baby gender prediction: as a fun way to guess and hope, while you wait for reliable results.

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 Posted by at 11:55 am
Oct 242012
 

Believe it or not, the day of conception can indeed contribute to how a baby’s gender is determined. While it may sound like an old wives’ tale, there are very specific scientific reasons that this may be the case.

To understand how the day of conception can determine babies gender, it is necessary to know a little bit about what it is that determines gender. Much to the chagrin of Henry VIII, it is the sperm of the male partner that determines babies gender. Had this fact been known in centuries past, it is likely that history may have turned out very differently than it has!

Essentially, there are two different types of male sperm. There are the sperm that produce boys, and then there are, obviously, the sperm that will produce girls. The sperm that produce boys tend to swim faster than the sperm that produce girls, and they get to the egg faster. However, these sperm have a shorter lifespan than the sperm that produce girls. The sperm that produce girls swim slower, but they will often last several days longer than the sperm that produce boys.

To try to determine your babies gender, you can time the day of conception. If you are trying to get pregnant with a girl, you should have sex a few days prior to ovulation. Thus, the sperm that would produce a boy will die off before you ovulate, and will not have a chance to fertilize your egg. This will also give those sperm that would produce a girl the opportunity to get to your egg.

If you are trying for a boy, your day of conception needs to be different. To try to have a boy, you will want to have sex during the time that you are ovulating. Some people have even suggested that you put the day of conception off until the very end of ovulation, although this, obviously, creates a higher risk of not becoming pregnant at all.

Ultimately, the day of conception will not guarantee a babies gender, but it may be able to help.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm