Can Breast Shape Predict Fetal Gender

Women try to gauge several things from their baby bump. And, often gender prediction based on the bump size invariably becomes a favorite pastime. One of the cues for making the prediction is that the baby bump, when positioned high on a woman’s belly predicts the birth of a boy, while a bump that is placed wide and low across on the abdomen is most likely sign of a girl.

And while people generally try to guess the baby’s by the size of their belly, science journalist Jena Pincott says that it’s not the baby bump but how mothers-to-bes breasts are shaped, which can reveal the gender of her child.

Pincott in her new book, “Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?” (Souvenir Press, 2013), says that women who are pregnant with a female child develop bigger breasts than women pregnant with a male fetus. In her book, she says that the breasts of a woman carrying a girl increase about 8 centimeters, while women carrying a boy will grow only 6.3 centimeters. The difference occurs due to the amount of testosterone produced by the male fetus, which does little to enhance the size of a mother’s breasts.

Talking from the perspective of genes, when it comes to sex determination, it is the father’s sperm that is crucial in predisposing the sex of his progeny. Women always give an X chromosome to a child. When a father provides chromosomes, it can either be an X or a Y. So a Y chromosome from the father makes a boy, while an X chromosome from father makes a girl.

Amniocentesis or the amniotic fluid test is one of the most accurate tests that reveal the sex of a developing fetus. While the test is cent percent accurate, it can involve the risk of miscarriage. Amniocentesis is essentially a medical procedure employed for the prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities or infection of the fetus. It is an invasive test that is also used for sex determination whereby a small amount of amniotic fluid is sampled. The procedure involves administering a local anesthetic, inserting a needle through the mother’s abdominal wall through the uterine wall and finally into the amniotic sac while being guided by ultrasound. The amniotic sac is punctured in an area away from the fetus and about 20 ml of the amniotic fluid is extracted for analysis. The procedure has legal restrictions in some countries owing to its capacity for sex discernment. The first amniocentesis was performed with the help of ultrasound in 1972.

However in recent times, real-time ultrasound is applied because it is known to be safer than amniocentesis and accuracy of results, although cannot give accurate results before 18 weeks of pregnancy.

A 2011 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that an analysis of mother’s blood for DNA of the fetus after seven weeks can precisely recognize the fetus of a male child about ninety-five percent of the time and the fetus of a female child about ninety-eight percent of the time.

Some even go as far as taking a urine test for their baby’s gender revelation. But, it is utterly inaccurate and is in no way better than speculation. There are many gender prediction kits available these days, which claim to reveal your baby’s gender as early as six weeks. But the reality is urine test have no hormones to tell you the sex of your baby.

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