Can you tell the sex of your baby by it’s heart rate?

For decades, expectant mothers have been told, sometimes by other mothers, sometimes by books, and sometimes by physicians, that the sex of your baby can be determined by fetal heart rate. The common thought is that if the baby’s heart rate is under 140 beats per minute it is a boy, and that if it is over 140 beats per minutes, it is a girl. Many people have theorized that, because women usually have a higher metabolic rate than men, that unborn girls would have a slightly higher pulse rate than unborn boys.

The bad news is, most of the research available does not support this conclusion. Many many studies have been done that debunk this myth. In fact, only a single study seems to lend any support to the thesis: a study at the University of Kentucky in 1993 concluded that fetal heartbeat could accurately predict the sex of a fetus in about 74 percent of cases when the fetus was a girl, and 91 percent when it was a boy. Even if we believe the results from this study against the results from other studies, it is still not particularly convincing.

Still, it can be fun to try to guess a baby’s sex. Here are some other, completely unscientific and not necessarily accurate, ways that you can try to guess what sex your baby is:

- Pull down the skin under your left eye and look at your eyeball (the white part). If you see a vein that looks like a V or branches, you will be having a girl.

– Have the mother-to-be pick up a a single key. If she picks it up by the round part it will be a boy. If she picks up the long narrow part it will be a girl. If she picks it up in the middle she is supposedly having twins.

- For second or subsequent children, the new baby’s sex can be determined by the previous child’s first word. If she says mama first, it will be a girl and if she says dada first it will be a boy. If she says something else first, well, you’ll have to try another method!

- Eat a clove of garlic. If the smell of garlic seeps out of your pores, it is a boy. If it can’t be detected at all, it is a girl.


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