When you’re pregnant, it’s natural to want to know the sex of your baby. Most women find out through the safe, painless and very reliable (although not infallible) ultrasound examination. Until the ultrasound was invented in the 50s, and came into wide use in the 70s, there was a lot of speculation about how to tell the sex of your baby.
What are the myths about determining my baby’s sex?
Throughout the centuries, there have been many myths and unscientific methods rumored to help find out the sex of a fetus before birth. Although some may be entertaining–and any method you use will be correct about half of the time–all are rumors, not based on scientific fact. Some common myths about learning your baby’s sex include:
- What foods is the mother-to-be craving? Craving sweet food is rumored to signal a girl will be born and if a pregnant woman favors sour or salty food, it will be a boy.
- Does the expectant mom have hairy legs? A male fetus has been rumored to make the hair on the expectant mother’s legs grow faster, while a female fetus doesn’t cause additional leg hair to grow.
- What color is the pregnant woman’s urine? Another myth says that if urine is dull in color, this predicts a girl baby, while brightly colored urine signals to all that a boy baby is on the way.
- Is the mom-to-be carrying high or low? It has been said that carrying the baby high, with the baby bump high on the abdomen, tells you a girl will be born. Carrying “low” is said to mean it’s a boy.
- Is the fetal heartbeat fast? One story says that a male fetus has a higher heart rate in utero than a female.
- Does the pregnant woman’s urine change color when mixed with _______? There are various rumors about this, with different ingredients called for in the mixture. Trying this out is notrecommended, especially if it will expose you and your fetus to potentially toxic substances.
What’s the scientific, reliable way to learn baby’s gender?
Ultrasound examinations, performed after 16 weeks of pregnancy, often show a baby’s sex with an accuracy of nearly 90 percent. The ultrasound generates black-and-white images of the developing fetus using high frequency sound waves. This non-invasive test is safe for both the woman and her fetus and commonly done to check the health of the pregnancy.
Certain invasive tests, like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, can accurately reveal the gender of the baby with complete certainty. However, since these tests are not risk-free, they’re only performed to address other health concerns during gestation.
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