History of Baby Gender Prediction

 

As long as there has been pregnancy, there have been parents who wanted to figure out their baby’s gender. While the story doesn’t expressly say so, you can almost picture Adam and Eve wondering whether their first baby would be a boy or a girl (spoiler: it’s a boy).

It kind of makes you wonder how long it took mankind to start trying to figure out ways of predicting babies’ gender. Until recent advances in ultrasound technology made gender prediction fairly accurate, it was impossible to know for sure whether you needed to buy pink paint or blue for the nursery. Still, that didn’t stop people from trying.

Was there some merit to ancient gender prediction methods, or were they all just old wives’ tales? We would be the first to acknowledge that they aren’t foolproof ways of predicting babies’ gender. Still, the fact that they have been believed by enough people for long enough to become part of our folklore would suggest that there is at least some merit to them. Even if there isn’t, it can be fun to use them to try to guess your baby’s gender.

Some of the more common wives’ tales used to predict babies’ genders are:

  • Examining how the baby sets. According to tradition, if you’re carrying your baby mostly in your hips, you are most likely having a girl. If you’re carrying more out front in the tummy, you’re likely having a boy.
  • Pendulum method. This method, which originated among gypsies, is likely superstition. Still, some believe that you can attach a ring, needle, or other pendulum to a thread and use it to predict gender. To do so, lie on your back and have someone hold the makeshift pendulum over your tummy. If it swings back and forth (like a typical pendulum), it’s a boy. If it swings in circles, it’s a girl.
  • Birth calendar. Chinese have traditionally believed that baby genders can be predicted using a birth calendar. These calendars (which can be readily found online) compare the mother’s age and the month of conception to determine your baby’s gender. Some claim as much as 90% accuracy. Of course, they generally also include a disclaimer stating that they are for entertainment purposes only.

Of course, if you want to know your baby’s gender for sure, your best bet these days is an ultrasound. Besides the fact that these are the most accurate at determining babies’ gender, they are generally provided as a normal part of prenatal care.

 

Gender and Sibling Rivalry Before Baby is Born

The arrival of a new baby in the house can be a wonderful and joyous experience. However, for families who already have one or more children, the arrival of a new baby can also signify the arrival of an unwanted bundle – sibling rivalry. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help to prepare your older child or children before and after the new baby arrives.

Sibling rivalry is often characterized either by acting out or even regression by older siblings. A toddler, for example, might pick back up some of his baby-like habits, such as wanting a bottle or a pacifier, or even losing ground on potty training. A child might even become aggressive, and act out violently against himself, the new baby, or other friends or family members.

To help prepare your child for a new baby, make sure to talk with them when you discover you are pregnant. You want your child to hear it from you, not from someone else, that there will be a new baby in the house.

If the new baby will be sharing a room with a sibling, try to get the room set up a couple of months before the birth so that the older child has time to adjust. If your toddler will be moving from her crib to a toddler bed, try to do this early as well.
Take your child or children with you on a prenatal visit, if possible. This can help them to be more comfortable with the whole process. Many hospitals also offer classes for the new big sister or big brother; take advantage of these.

Help your child to understand what it will be like when the new baby arrives. Explain that the baby won’t be able to be a playmate for quite a while. Explain that many times, because the baby is not as grown up as your other children, that the baby might have to have more attention from mom and dad for a while.

Once the new baby arrives, make sure that you have one-on-one time for your older children as well. Even just a few minutes a day can help to overcome feelings of jealousy and neglect. Also, talk with you your older child about his feelings, and help him to say how he feels. Be clear that it is never OK to hurt anyone, including themselves. In time, you will be able to make your older children partners with you in the baby’s care.

Gender and Second Trimester Heart Rate

The fetal heart rate will change during the second trimester, just as it changes throughout the various stages of pregnancy. In fact, the fetal heart rate can change on a moment-by-moment basis, in response to various stimuli or various conditions that can be affecting your baby. While your baby’s heart rate does tend to spike briefly around the age of ten weeks of pregnancy, by the time that the second trimester rolls around, your baby’s heart rate will not change much until after your baby is born.

The fetal heart rate can, typically, be heard at around eight to ten weeks of pregnancy, depending on the mother’s body size and the method used to find the fetal heart rate, whether a transvaginal ultrasound or a Doppler or some other method. At around the tenth week of pregnancy, roughly three weeks before the second trimester begins, the fetal heart rate will peak at around 175 beats per minute. By week fifteen, which is during the very early part of the second trimester, the fetal heart rate will have dropped down to around 140 beats per minute.

It was once thought that the fetal heart rate could predict your baby’s gender. It was thought that, if a baby’s heart rate was under 140 beats per minute that it would be a boy, and that if it was over 140 beats per minute it would be a girl. The theory behind this idea was that, because women usually have a higher metabolic rate than men, that unborn girls would have a slightly higher pulse rate than unborn boys. However, most research does seem to disprove this idea, and demonstrate that there is not necessarily a connection between the fetal heart rate and the gender of your baby.

If you have concerns about your fetal heart rate, you should speak with your health care provider. Your health care provider can help to interpret what a high or a low fetal heart rate might mean, as well as help to figure out if it indicates some sort of a problem that will need to be addressed.

Reviewing the Shettles Method of Gender Selection

The Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender has been around for about the past twenty-five years. Proponents of the Shettles method suggest that it has proven to be extremely successful. When the Shettles method is used correctly, it is thought to be successful in about three quarters of cases. There has been some research, while not entirely conclusive, that suggests that it may be even more successful than that. These researchers suggest that the Shettles method is closer to 90% successful at selecting your baby’s gender.

Having said all of that, it is important to understand what exactly goes into the Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender. The method has many components that need to be followed in order to be successful. While the hallmark of the Shettles method is most certainly the timing of intercourse in relation to the timing of ovulation, the other components of the Shettles method are important if the method is going to be successful at selecting your baby’s gender.

If, for example, you only follow the intercourse-ovulation timing component of selecting your baby’s gender, you are not going to be as successful if you follow the other components. If you want to have a girl, for example, the Shettles method indicates that penetration must be shallow. Intercourse should be in the missionary position, which will put the sperm closer to the entrance of the vagina, which is a more acidic, and will work against the “boy” sperm. In addition, successfully using the Shettles method to select your baby’s gender means that you should not have an orgasm during intercourse if you want to conceive a girl, as the orgasm may produce a variety of substances that would favor the “boy” sperm.

Ultimately, the Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender will probably be as successful or even more successful as other methods, apart from an IVF situation where the sperm are actually separated between the “boy” and the “girl” sperm, and then the preferred sperm is used in the IVF procedure.

Morning Sickness and Gender

There are many different ways that people have used, in the past, to try to predict their baby’s gender. From the famous “Drano” test to looking at how your baby is carried, most of these techniques for determining gender, while they may be fun to discuss, aren’t going to necessarily be accurate. The fact of the matter is that any given method of predicting your baby’s gender has a 50% chance of being correct, as there are only two genders to pick from. One of the ways that people have used to try to determine their baby’s gender is to think about their morning sickness.

There are those who think that severe morning sickness indicates a boy, while less or no morning sickness would indicate that you are going to have a girl. The reasoning behind this is that boys tend to be more “difficult” or “sour” than girls, and thereby cause problems with the woman’s belly. Of course, there are also those on the other side of things that think that severe morning sickness means that you are going to have a girl. Even among the myths about gender, there isn’t exactly complete agreement.

There are other myths beyond morning sickness about how to determine your baby’s gender. For many years it was actually believed in the medical community that gender could be determined by the heart rate of your baby. If your baby’s heart rate was more than 140 beats per minute, it was thought that you were going to have a boy. Recent scientific studies, however, have proven that this just isn’t necessarily the case. There is not a measurable difference in the heart rate of boys or girls while still in the womb.

There is, really, one effective way to determine your baby’s gender, and that is with an ultrasound. By locating the genitals on an ultrasound, the ultrasound technician or health care provider can determine your baby’s gender. In this regard, it is important to know whether the person using the ultrasound actually sees the labia, if they believe it to be a girl. Not seeing a penis is not enough to be certain that your baby will be a boy.

How Ultrasounds Predict Gender

An ultrasound is one of the most reliable ways to tell your baby’s sex. As a matter of fact, an ultrasound may be the only way, short of something like genetic sampling or amniocentesis, that you will be able to tell your baby’s sex with any degree of certainty. Understanding how an ultrasound can be used to tell your baby’s sex is an important part of knowing how reliable the ultrasound will be.

An ultrasound relies on making a visual representation of what is going on inside of your womb. Using an ultrasound, you can usually see your baby’s heartbeat at around 8 weeks of pregnancy, for example. An ultrasound is also used to measure your baby, and to track your baby’s growth. An ultrasound may be used to try to detect if there are any abnormalities with the way that your baby is forming, as well. And, as has been said before, an ultrasound can indeed be used to tell your baby’s sex.

How an ultrasound is used to tell your baby’s sex relies, at least in part, on the person operating the ultrasound, whether it is an ultrasound technician or whether it is your health care provider. The person operating the ultrasound will be able to tell your baby’s sex by looking for the presence of genitals. If the person that is operating the ultrasound can see a penis, she will predict that your baby’s sex will be male. Telling your baby’s sex when it is a girl, however, can be more difficult. If the person operating the ultrasound actually sees the labia on the ultrasound, your baby’s sex is obviously female. But if the person operating the ultrasound just doesn’t see a penis, it doesn’t mean for certain that your baby’s sex is male. As a matter of fact, without seeing the labia, most of the time the person operating the ultrasound will not tell you that your baby’s sex is female.

There are other factors that will tell whether the ultrasound is reliably telling your baby’s sex. First, the position of your baby can affect whether or not the genitals can be seen. Also, your baby’s age and size will play a role as well.

Pregnancy Symptoms and Baby’s Sex

There has not been any definitive scientific research that suggests a connection between having certain pregnancy symptoms, or the severity of pregnancy symptoms, and the gender of your baby. Having said that, many women believe that their pregnancy symptoms can indeed predict the gender of your baby. Even if it isn’t the most reliable method, it can be fun to consider your pregnancy symptoms in relation to your baby’s gender while you wait for a more reliable method, such as an ultrasound, to tell you with more certainty what the gender of your baby will be.

One pregnancy symptom that has been connected with the gender of your baby has to do with cravings. It is thought that, if you are craving sweets like chocolate, that the gender of your baby will be female. In contrast, your baby would be a boy if you are craving sour things, such as raw lemon juice. Unfortunately, man women crave a combination of things that can be both sweet and sour, making it harder to predict the gender of your baby from this symptom.

Another pregnancy symptom that is thought to predict the gender of your baby is acne. If you break out in severe acne, it is predicted that you will have a girl. If your acne is mild, then you will have a boy.

The most common pregnancy symptom, morning sickness, may be able to be used to predict the gender of your baby as well. If you are severely sick, you will be having a boy. Otherwise, you will be having a girl. Some people think that the timing of morning sickness is able to predict the gender of your baby, too, with morning sickness in the morning being a boy and morning sickness at night being a girl.

Hair growth is another pregnancy symptom that can predict the gender of your baby. If you are having a boy, you should watch out because you are more likely to grow body hair during pregnancy. Conversely, if you are having a girl, you should not expect to grow body hair during pregnancy.

Your Weight and Baby’s Gender

Baby’s Gender and Pregnancy Symptoms

There has not been any definitive scientific research that suggests a connection between having certain pregnancy symptoms, or the severity of pregnancy symptoms, and the gender of your baby. Having said that, many women believe that their pregnancy symptoms can indeed predict the gender of your baby. Even if it isn’t the most reliable method, it can be fun to consider your pregnancy symptoms in relation to your baby’s gender while you wait for a more reliable method, such as an ultrasound, to tell you with more certainty what the gender of your baby will be.

One pregnancy symptom that has been connected with the gender of your baby has to do with cravings. It is thought that, if you are craving sweets like chocolate, that the gender of your baby will be female. In contrast, your baby would be a boy if you are craving sour things, such as raw lemon juice. Unfortunately, man women crave a combination of things that can be both sweet and sour, making it harder to predict the gender of your baby from this symptom.

Another pregnancy symptom that is thought to predict the gender of your baby is acne. If you break out in severe acne, it is predicted that you will have a girl. If your acne is mild, then you will have a boy.

The most common pregnancy symptom, morning sickness, may be able to be used to predict the gender of your baby as well. If you are severely sick, you will be having a boy. Otherwise, you will be having a girl. Some people think that the timing of morning sickness is able to predict the gender of your baby, too, with morning sickness in the morning being a boy and morning sickness at night being a girl.

Hair growth is another pregnancy symptom that can predict the gender of your baby. If you are having a boy, you should watch out because you are more likely to grow body hair during pregnancy. Conversely, if you are having a girl, you should not expect to grow body hair during pregnancy.

Dads Want Sons, Moms Want Daughters

 

Put this into the “you already guessed it” category, but some recent research shows that parents often have a preference – a significant preference, even – about the gender of their expected child.

In this survey, participants were asked what gender they’d prefer their firstborn to be, what gender they’d prefer the majority of their children to be, and what gender they would prefer if they were to only have one child.

What the researchers were surprised to find – which we may not be quite as surprised to find – is that men prefer sons, and women prefer daughters.

Evolutionary drive

In some ways, it’s easy to reason why men would want to have sons. After all, men have the possibility of keeping the family gene line going by potentially fathering more women than a single woman could bear. While in most cultures that actual practice wouldn’t be looked upon favorably, you can see where the drive comes from.

For women, however, it’s suggested that there is a more complex reasoning for wanting daughters. Women may have a desire to have the shared experience of pregnancy, or the strong bonds that are perceived to exist between mother and daughter.

Women, according to the researchers, have a “legacy drive” rather than a simple drive to procreate and keep the genetic line going.

Gender selection

There are a number of ways this plays out, of course. In some extreme cases, for example, there is the practice of female feticide, in which girls are aborted and boys are not. This isn’t entirely uncommon in certain countries like India and China. Yet, there is some evidence that it’s happening among certain cultural groups in North America, as well.

This type of gender selection goes way beyond simply trying to give yourself an edge in choosing your baby’s gender. Some ethicists make the case that it’s actually a form of discrimination against women, and if practiced on a large scale could lead to other sociological problems.

One solution proposed in Canada, for example, is to hold off revealing a baby’s gender until after 30 weeks of pregnancy, at which point abortion is no longer a legal option.