How to conceive a baby girl?
When you picture a tiny baby curled up your arms, is it all dressed in pink?
For many couples who are trying to conceive, they don’t mind if they have a boy or a girl, just as long as the baby is healthy and eventually does come out of the mother’s tummy. But for many other couples, they do have a specific gender preference in mind.
I really want a girl
Traditionally a boy child used to be the most common desire for couples because it would ensure the lineage of the family name and the family fortune. Titles and property once upon a time only went to male heirs. In some countries, boy babies are still the preferred choice.
However, for most families, these restrictions or traditions no longer apply, and some would actually prefer to welcome a little baby girl into their brood, for any number of reasons.
This may be the case if it is not your first pregnancy, and you already have one or more bouncing baby boys in your family.
It may also be the case if you or your partner have all brothers, and your family usually tends to give birth to boys. The pressure can sometimes be on from older generations to give them a girl in this situation.
There are theories and personal opinions on what sex is easier to raise. Many people claim that girls are easier as babies and young children, although may become more challenging when the teens hit. This might lead you to want a girl.
You may want a girl because you already have one girl, and you would love for her to get a baby sister. There is something quite special about a girl having a sister to grow up with.
Additionally, if you already have all of your pink baby clothes and equipment you are mostly prepared for the next one.
There are more serious reasons as well for wanting to choose a certain gender. Many families face the reality of a genetic disorder that is passed through males and have excellent reasoning for wanting a girl.
As an example of this autism is more likely to be inherited in males, so a family that already has one or more boys on the autism spectrum might yearn a little bit for a girl next.
Can you affect what gender baby you will have?
Your baby’s gender is determined the moment you get pregnant, but there maybe things you can do beforehand to increase your chances one way or the other.
Gender depends on the chromosomal make-up of the winning sperm in the sperm race. Individual sperm have either the X chromosome (baby girl sperm) or Y chromosome (baby boy sperm), so whichever one gets to the egg first determines the gender.
At present, if you left the choice completely up to chance, the odds area tiny bit higher that you will have a baby boy. Apparently for every 100 girl babies born there are 105 baby boys born through natural selection.
Fertility treatment screening
If you are going through fertility treatment you are able to screen your embryos for gender before they are inserted into the womb.
You are only able to access this sort of screening in a couple of situations, including if you are trying to avoid passing down a sex-linked genetic disorder. Another accepted reason is if you already have at least one child of the opposite gender. This is called family balancing.
If you are completely fertile, you still might have the option of using fertility services, including screening for gender. As well as fitting one of the criteria mentioned above, you may also be required to be married and below a certain age.
Bear in mind however that this is a very expensive process to go through, so you would want a certain gender baby very badly.
Embryo screening for gender happens obviously outside the womb after the eggs have been fertilised. On the couple’s request, the doctor will just not insert embryos of the gender you don’t want. It can happen whether you are using IUI or IVF.
Some other ways to increase the chance you’ll have a girl
There are a number of things you can do at home to increase your chances of having a baby girl. Some have solid scientific evidence behind them, others are more just old wives’ tales or urban legends.
#1 Timing your intercourse
Science has shown us that baby boy sperm travel faster than baby girl sperm, and the ones with the baby boy chromosomes don’t live as long. This means being a bit strategic with your timing if you are trying for a girl.
You can track the exact date you are ovulating using a store bought test kit, and then time your intercourse around that date to improves your chances of nabbing the sperm of the gender you want.
For conceiving a girl, the optimal time for intercourse would be between 2-4 days before ovulation. Then do not have intercourse again closer to the ovulation date. This means that the fast, short-living Y chromosome sperm will not have lasted, but the strong, slow and steady X chromosome sperm is more likely to get to the egg.
This method has no guarantee of success, but the chances could be as high as 70-80%.
Both timed intercourse and the level of success of different positions rely on some scientific basis. Positions seem to have more effect on boys, in that for male sperm to have a better chance of reaching the egg, you should try positions involving deeper insertion of the penis. This will place the sperm at the entrance to the cervix and increase its chances.
Because baby girl sperm travels slower and survives longer in the vagina, if you want to improve the success of your baby girl sperm then positions with less depth are better (such as the missionary position for example). The baby boy sperm won’t do as well under these circumstances, giving the baby girl sperm the edge.
There may also be benefit in having sex often from the day your period ends until about two days before ovulation to give as many girl sperm the opportunity to get to the egg first.
It all sounds like a very strange mini-Olympics happening inside your body, doesn’t it?
A healthy diet is recommended to increase your chances of conceiving at all, but beyond that, whether your specific diet can increase your chances of having a girl are a bit dubious. However, some of the following dietary tips may help:
· Eat sweets and chocolate
· Eat foods that are high in calcium such as whole milk products and cheese
· Eat food that is high in magnesium
· Good food to go for includes eggs, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, oranges, chicken, tofu and soy products, oats, figs, berries and black beans.
· Stay away from salty food and those that are high in potassium
· Avoid caffeine
The methods we’ve listed above seem to have some chances of success, and at least a little bit of science behind them. But ways to increase your chances of conceiving one gender over the other have been around for centuries (mostly when people were trying for boys).
Here are a few more things you can try to conceive a girl:
· Chinese astrology uses an ancient method which matches a woman’s age and the year she was born to determine when the best time to conceive a baby girl would be.
· An old Germanic legend says that if you place a wooden spoon under the bed you are more likely to have a boy. So, leave the wooden spoons in the kitchen if you are trying for a girl then I guess…
· Romanic folklore says that you should sprinkle salt on the bed to encourage having a boy (and once again leave the salt in the kitchen for a girl).
· There is a legend which believes that intercourse on a rainy day will mean you are having a girl.
What is the best method to try?
To increase your chances significantly of conceiving a girl:
· Adjust your diet and increase your intake of sweet food and those high in calcium and magnesium
· Track your exact day of ovulation; you can do this by taking your basal body temperature, or by using an over the counter ovulation test.
· Start having intercourse the day after your period ends and have it every day until 2 days before ovulating, then stop and take a much-needed break.
· Have intercourse in a shallower position such as the missionary position. Apparently, it is also better if the woman doesn’t orgasm.
No method is guaranteed, and cheeky Mother Nature seems to play her part regardless of what couples try to do to sway things one way or another. Good Luck!