Written by Editorial Team
As soon as the pee on the test kit dries up, gender guessing games start. Look at any of the gender prediction tips available online for your unborn baby, and you will immediately see fetal heart rate as one of the most widely used tools! Some believe that this heart rate can predict the gender of your baby. But is it true that fetal heart rate can predict your baby’s gender?
It is intriguing because unlike the shape of the tummy or the aftermath of eating garlic, fetal heart rate does sound more authentic and scientific. But how true is this thought process? Does it have a technical backing or is it just another old wives’ tale? Read on to understand everything about the connection between fetal heart rate and your baby’s gender.
Fetal heart rate (FHR) is exactly as the name suggests – it is the heart rate of your baby (fetus) when in utero (that is, while inside your womb). It is measured during each of your visits to your radiologist for pregnancy scans. While generally FHR ranges from 120 beats per minute (bpm) to 160 bpm, this range varies depending on the gestation period.
Usually FHR continues to decrease during the pregnancy. Which means during your first visit to the radiologist at around 8 to 10 weeks, the FHR could be as high as 170 bps and by your last scan at 8 or 9 months, the FHR could be as low as 120 bps.
The popular belief is based on the fact that 140 bps is the average fetal heart rate for the baby in utero (as the range is between 120 to 160 bps)
Unfortunately, there is only ONE way you can predict the gender of the baby – and that is through the ultrasound scan. Predictions based on fetal heart rate are basically a numbers game. Some parents say it worked for them. Some parents say it does not work. This effectively means that whatever the fetal heart rate is, there is a 50-50 chance for having a boy or a girl, which, well, you already know from the beginning.
There is no evidence as to how such a pregnancy myth came about. But it is definitely very popular to-be parents. What is undoubtfully true is (and this is backed by actual medical studies), a lower than 140 bps FHR does not guarantee a baby boy and a higher than 140 bps FHR does not guarantee a baby boy.
So do not go ahead and paint the nursery pink or blue after your ultrasound scan based on the fetal heart rate. The myth is just a statistical play – heart rates are usually above and below the average anyway.
Moreover, it can also vary widely from one ultrasound scan to another – making a prediction all the more complicated! In fact, the belief that baby girls have faster heart beats has been only proven during the process of delivery, for reasons unknown.
That said, there is a certain euphoria and reassurance every mother feels when she hears that whoosh whoosh sound of the baby’s heart beat during the ultrasound scan. Let a higher or lower heart rate, predicting a girl or a boy, not take the beauty of that euphoric moment from you.
The visit to the hospital should ideally answer your “real” doubts and questions – about your health, about your activity levels, about your diet and so on. This is because the health of the baby is more important than the gender of the baby. Or, in other more candid words, the gender of your child becomes immaterial if he or she is born with some medical conditions or problems, however small.
Researchers examined sonograms from women who were all under 14 weeks gestation to determine whether their fetal heart rates (FHRs) during the first trimester were significantly different. This process was repeated in the second trimester between weeks 18 and 24, when ultrasound can also be used for determining the baby’s sex. (source)
There were 51% of pregnant women with girls and 41% with boys. The result goes like this. Baby boys’ heart rates in the first trimester were 154.9 beats per minute (plus or minus 22.8 beats per minute), while baby girls’ heart rates were 151.7 beats per minute (plus or minus 22.7 beats per minute).
The question now is, did heart rate contribute to gender prediction? According to the researchers, female and male fetal heart rates during early pregnancy are more or less the same. In other words, the fetal heart rate of males and females does not significantly differ, so gender does not affect heart rate
We at Being the Parent want to reiterate that the only sure shot way to predict your baby’s gender is through an ultrasound scan, which, for very good reasons, is illegal in India (and many other countries). However, we also understand it is fun to guess the gender and place bets on it within the family.
Again, consider these only as fun exercises. Predicting a baby’s gender has a 50% chance of coming true, so its good to bet on horses, but not on baby names! Do not take it too seriously that you let the prediction get your hopes up or hopes squashed! To wait until your baby’s birth is the sure-shot way of knowing your baby’s gender.
No, it’s the opposite. A high rate indicates it’s a girl. This is not scientifically backed though.
Many believe low heart rate means it’s a boy. It should be below 140bps. However, this is just a belief.
It is not accurate at all. This is something many believe in. there are no studies to prove it.
The average heart rate is 140bpm. Many believe different genders have different ranges. This belief has been around for quite some time.
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