If you spend any time in pregnancy groups online or mommy meetups, chances are you’ve seen or heard quite a bit of food aversion pregnancy gender talk. Can you really tell if you're having a boy or a girl just going by your changing tastes?
As moms, we love to compare pregnancy symptoms and, especially in early pregnancy, we like to find meaning in them.
Does aversion to meat mean you're having a girl? How about aversion to spicy foods or cravings for sweets? It's not as simple as we make it out to be, but there is some scientific basis behind pregnancy symptoms.
Food Aversion in Pregnancy Gender Study
According to a Polish study that was published in 2014, there truly is a correlation between food aversion during pregnancy and the gender of the baby.
Scientists with the University of Wroclaw’s Department of Human Biology have found that women who reported higher incidence of disgust during the first and second trimester were more likely to be carrying a baby boy. They say there is a biological reason.
The feeling of disgust or food aversion is meant to help protect mom and baby from potentially toxic or poisonous foods while mom is immunocompromised.
A baby boy requires more of mom’s biological resources during gestation, they are more sensitive and fragile than female babies in utero.
Pregnancy Gender And Stressful Work Environments
Scientists with the University of Calgary have reported that a woman under stress may be more likely to have a baby girl.
After analyzing more than 16,000 births over 5 years, they concluded that pregnant mothers whose jobs are typically related to high levels of psychological stress were more likely to give birth to girls.
Those in lower stress jobs had an equal chance for both sexes, or a slightly higher rate of having a boy.
A female fetus is less vulnerable to environmental circumstances and more likely to survive in adverse conditions. If you’re trying to conceive a boy, lowering your stress level before conception and throughout your pregnancy might improve your odds!
Cultural Gender Prediction Methods
You may have heard some “old wives tales” about different ways to tell if you're having a boy or a girl. All cultures have them. The methods and the results tend to vary.
For example, one popular method is to hang your wedding ring over your baby bump to see whether it moves side to side or in a circular motion. Sources vary about which sex is indicated by which motion.
Women at baby showers delight in using various folk wisdom to guess the baby's gender.
Is mom carrying in the front? Is her belly high or low? Of course, it's a lot of fun to explore some of these methods, but the value really ends at entertainment. All of these methods have a 50% chance of being accurate; flipping a coin could tell you as much.
There is scientific evidence that maternal diet may play a key role in determining the baby’s gender. Being conscious about your diet before trying to conceive, and throughout your pregnancy, could influence the baby’s gender.
For a girl, foods rich in calcium and magnesium are recommended, while sodium and potassium are discouraged. Sources of calcium and magnesium include:
- Cheese, low sodium varieties
- Fish, particularly salmon
For a boy, foods rich in potassium and sodium are recommended, while calcium and magnesium are discouraged. Sources of potassium and sodium include:
- Salty snacks
- Sweet potato
Chinese Pregnancy Gender Calendars
One method of prenatal gender prediction that's gaining popularity is the Chinese lunar calendar technique. There are many websites with birth charts and conversion tables where soon-to-be parents can plug in the month of conception and mother’s age at time of conception, in order to determine the baby’s gender.
While I have seen many new moms excited about the accuracy of the Chinese charts, there is no real evidence to support it, according to Dr. Villamor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
With the help and records of some Swedish scientists, Villamor reviewed almost 3 million births between the 1970’s and early 2000’s, using the Chinese calendar method of predicting a baby’s sex.
They determined the technique’s accuracy to be around 50%, despite many conversion websites claiming to be over 90% accurate.
How Will I Know What I’m Having?
It can be a lot of fun to explore different pregnancy gender prediction methods, but you should definitely take the results with a grain of salt.
If you're dying to know what you're having, you can usually find out with an ultrasound or anatomy scan around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. The technicians can sometimes be wrong, but they have a much better accuracy rate than any other method of determining pregnancy gender.
If you want to be surprised, or you're opposed to having an ultrasound during your pregnancy, it's best to simply choose neutral nursery colors to prepare for your new arrival. Don't put all your eggs in one basket based on food aversion or pregnancy gender prediction.
Leave a comment to chime in with your experience using these methods. Share with your friends, so they can contribute as well. We would love to hear from you!