While researching a blog post a few weeks ago, I came across some old wives tales regarding how influence the gender of your baby. In other words, how to ensure you get that boy you’ve been trying so hard for (after having 5 girls) or vice versa. The funniest myth was that if you want to have a girl, you need to steal a soup ladle from a household that has all girls. If you’re dying to have a little boy, do the same thing, except from a household with lots of boys.
I’d never hear that before but it sounded promising so I immediately texted my sister-in-law (who has two boys and would like to have a baby girl) and sent her to her friend’s house (who has 3 girls) to “steal” her soup ladle. Here’s a picture of her doing just that!
I’ll let you know if her new life of crime works out for her!
But really, that old wives tale got me thinking…are there really any natural ways you can select the gender of your baby?
I remember reading somewhere about a process fertility doctors can perform to do so, but I wasn’t too interested in going that far (or spending that much money).
So I began to interview friends and family and then conducted a little research on the web. What I uncovered are some of the most commonly used methods for nudging the odds in your favor of having a boy, or girl.
The Shettles Method
This was by far the most commonly referred to method for gender selection, and though many don’t refer to it at the Shettles method, they are familiar with it’s key principle: it’s all about timing.
Dr. Shettles believed that correctly timing intercourse was the most important factor in conceiving a boy or girl. The key is to properly predict when you’re ovulating. Shettles theorized that the Y-chromosome-bearing sperm (male producing) is quicker than the X-chromosome-bearing sperm (female producing), but female producing sperm live longer.
The implication: the best time to conceive a boy is on the exact day you ovulate while the best time to conceive a girl is 3-4 days before you ovulate. This is because girl sperm don’t mind hanging around waiting for the male producing sperm to peter out (so to speak) and the egg to slide down the hatch.
There are also theories based on the premise that altering your body’s pH through diet may influence the polarity of the egg (if it has one), or make the vaginal environment more or less hospitable to sperm.
Apparently, eating a big breakfast as well as at least 2000 calories a day will make you more likely to conceive a boy. By contrast, skipping breakfast and eating a light diet will make you more likely to conceive a girl.
And studies have shown that adding potassium and sodium to your diet makes you more likely to conceive a boy. You should eat bananas, strawberries, baked potato skins, and other foods high in sodium and potassium if you want a little Joe Jr. The trick to having a girl: Load up on magnesium and calcium. Think spinach, black beans, and other green vegetable and lots of milk.
O+12 is a method used only for conceiving a girl. This method advises intercourse about 12 hours after ovulation (which somewhat contradicts the Shettles method that a boy will be conceived on the day of ovulation).
The rules are:
- The father must not ejaculate for at least 7 days before intercourse (and preferably longer). The reason for this is that since female sperm supposedly live longer, an “old” batch of sperm should have more female than male sperm (about 2% more, according to some data).
- Have intercourse once only, 8 to 20 hours after ovulation.
- Do NOT have intercourse again (or use a condom) until you are sure you are no longer fertile. That’s because the “fresh” batch of sperm will be more likely to have more male sperm.
Have any of you tried any of the above methods or swear by another? If so, please share!
Now if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got a ladle to steal.