Once you know that you are expecting, it is normal to be immediately curious about the gender of your unborn baby. While ultrasound is the sure-shot method to determine whether your baby is going to be a boy or a girl, not everyone has access to it. There are several countries across the world who have banned the gender determination exercise for one reason or another. And, India is one of those countries. Perhaps, that is why many women rely on the old wives’ tales to figure out the gender of their babies.
Can The Fetal Heart Rate Help Predict The Baby’s Gender?
One of the old wives’ tales that surround pregnancy is the prediction of unborn baby’s gender with the help of the fetal heart rate. You might have heard of how the fetal heart rate tells the baby’s gender in the first trimester itself. So, the folklore says that a heart rate of more than 140 bpm indicates a baby girl. And, if the heart rate is less than that, then a boy it is. But, is this actually true? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the answer is ‘NO’.
The little one’s heart begins to beat somewhere around the sixth week of pregnancy. The heartbeat starts with a slow 90-100 beats per minute and increases gradually. Here on, the beat continues to increase and reaches its peak in about nine weeks of gestation. The heartbeat is then 140-170 bpm regardless of whether the baby is a girl or a boy.
In fact, there are loads of online discussion topics available in this regard, with a range of contrasting opinions. While some women vouch for the fetal heart rate method and how it clued them in, others entirely shunned it as a myth. But, let us find out what the research has to say about this.
What Does The Research Say?
Fetal Diagnosis And Therapy published a study that discussed just the same. The research involved nearly 966 sonograms of various women, where each one of them was under their 14th week of pregnancy. The same process was repeated when the women hit their second trimester, somewhere between the 18th and 24th week. This is when the baby’s gender can also be determined with the help of an ultrasound. At this point, there were only 477 women who still met the criteria of the study. There were 244 cases that revealed it would be a girl and the other 233 showed that it would be a boy.
But then, did the heart rate help predict the gender of the unborn baby successfully? For the boys, the heart rate during the first trimester was around 155 bpm. And, it was around 152 bpm for all the girls. The data clearly shows us that this folklore is nothing but a myth. After all, there was no significant difference between the heartbeat of the boys and the girls.
So, What Does This Mean?
Science and research say that the fetal heart rate is pretty much not a very reliable indicator of the baby’s gender. Truth be told, it seems like there is not much difference in the heart rates of the baby boys and girls respectively. But, this does not mean that you can’t continue having your own fun.
For countries who have banned the use of ultrasound to determine the little one’s gender, the expecting mothers still need something to satisfy their curious minds. So, as you sit with your close friends and relatives, you can still keep guessing the gender of your little one. Soon enough, you will know your baby’s gender for sure. All you have to do is wait for your due date. At times, surprises are good, aren’t they?
Do you know of any other folklore that can keep your fellow moms busy? If yes, share with us in the comments section below. Good luck, ladies!