Some of the most trying of the 'helpful' advice doled out during pregnancy comes in the form of old wives' tales. Supposedly well-meaning souls, usually a mother-in-law or some other elder even a midwife , will be keen to impart their pearls throughout. Right from conception, in fact, we are told that diet can influence the sex of the child - if you are a carnivore with a predilection for salty foods and refined carbohydrates, a boy is on the cards. Conversely, if you prefer dairy products, eat limited amounts of meat and potatoes and avoid a range of things including salt, wine and beer, tea, coffee, chocolate, fresh fruit, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms, you're likely to conceive a girl. If this were true it would be a miracle if anyone ever gave birth to a daughter, but in such emotive matters there will be some who will seize upon any advice, as demonstrated by the women in last night's documentary, 8 boys and wanting a girl , who were desperately trying to sway the sex of their future child by means natural or otherwise. After conception come the prediction theories, and these retreat yet further into fantasy. For instance, you are supposedly bearing a boy if you eat a raw garlic clove and the smell seeps on to your skin. Another, perhaps inspired by the nursery rhyme , is that a predilection for sweet things during pregnancy makes you more likely to be having a girl, while a boy will make you crave savoury, salty foods, meat and cheese in particular. There are attempts to lend such theories credence, linking testosterone with a need for protein. At that stage?
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The debate over whether or not you can guarantee the gender of your baby has been swirling for decades. Some women swear they've found the secret to conceiving a boy or getting pregnant with a girl based on sex positions, time of the year, and more. If you're skeptical, you're not alone The secret? Eating bananas. Well, bananas and other foods high in potassium. And no, this has nothing to do with their phallic shape. The study, published by the Royal Society, claims that what a mom eats before conception can affect the gender of her baby. The researchers followed women, who made seven-day food diaries before pregnancy.
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How much a mother eats at the time of conception may influence whether she gives birth to a boy or a girl, a new report shows. The study , published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, shows a link between higher energy intake around the time of conception and the birth of sons. The difference is not huge, but it may be enough to help explain the falling birthrate of boys in industrialized countries, including the United States and Britain. However, in vitro fertilization studies show that high levels of glucose encourage the growth of male embryos while inhibiting female embryos. It may be that male embryos are less viable in women who regularly limit food intake, such as skipping breakfast, which is known to depress glucose levels. A low glucose level may be interpreted by the body as indicating poor environmental conditions and low food availability, the researchers said. They provided records of their eating habits before and during the early stages of pregnancy, and researchers analyzed the data based on estimated calorie intake at the time of conception. Among women who ate the most, 56 percent had sons, compared with 45 percent among women who ate the least. As well as consuming more calories, women who had sons were more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B There was also a strong correlation between women eating breakfast cereals and producing sons.
The first evidence that women can influence the sex of their child by what they eat before they become pregnant is published today. Truth in old wives' tales on baby gender. The study, which links higher energy intake around conception to the birth of sons, provides the first explanation of why the number of boy babies is in decline in the west, suggesting it is the result of women consuming low fat foods and skipping breakfast, among other things. The research shows a higher calorie intake around the time of conception can shift the odds of having a son from ten to 11 boys in every 20 births. The effect was such that the more women ate, the more likely she was to have a boy. As well as consuming more calories, women who had sons were more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B In other words, women who want a son should eat a generous bowl of cereal for breakfast, munch bananas, use more salt and boost their overall daily calories by calories - the equivalent of a meal. Although the DNA in sperm determines sex, it seems that in the never ending battle of the sexes mothers can favour the development of one sex of infant rather than another, a faculty that nature uses to fine tune the sex ratio in Stone Age days to suit times of feast and famine, says the team from the Universities of Exeter and Oxford. To reveal how you are what your mother eats, the team focused on first-time pregnant mothers in the UK, who did not know the sex of their unborn child and were asked to provide records of their eating habits before and during the early stages of pregnancy. They completed detailed questionnaires which asked about their usual consumption of more than common items, and recorded details on the types and quantities of breakfast cereals, margarines and milk they used.