When and How Can I Find Out My Baby's Sex?

When and How Can I Find Out My Baby's Sex?

From the moment those two lines appear on a positive pregnancy test, it’s natural to wonder whether the new life growing inside of you is a boy or a girl. Most parents can’t wait to find out if they are “team pink” or “team blue” so the shopping can begin. Some expecting mothers wish to wait until their newborn makes their debut to be surprised by their gender, but the majority of moms want to know as soon as possible. How soon is that, exactly? Read on to learn all about when you can find out the sex of your baby and how!

How early can I find out the sex of my baby through ultrasound?

The answer to this question may vary, but typically, most ultrasound technicians can accurately determine the sex of your baby at your “half-way point” ultrasound - most of the time. This falls between 18-22 weeks. By 20 weeks, male and female genitals are noticeably different when viewed via ultrasound if the tech can find them.

Once in a while, ultrasound technicians run into what they call “a shy baby” that may be positioned in such a way that it is difficult to see or accurately predict that baby’s gender. Other babies, however, may put their genitals on proud display as early as the first trimester! Because boy and girl babies look very similar on an ultrasound until around 14 weeks, gender predictions that early aren’t considered to be as accurate - don’t go shopping for pink or blue just yet. (1)

Are blood tests to determine my baby's sex accurate?

A blood test called NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) may be offered around week 10 of pregnancy. This testing analyzes DNA from a quick blood draw to screen for things like Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions. It can also determine the sex of your baby! Pretty accurately, too. This cell-free DNA screening looks for the presence of male genetic material to determine if your baby is a boy or girl.

While these tests aren’t a diagnostic tool nor are they always 100% accurate, especially when it comes to genetic abnormalities, they do offer great insight into the life that you are creating. If you do not wish to know the sex of your baby, let your provider know before taking the NIPT blood draw. Additionally, if you are concerned about certain genetic conditions, speak with your provider about ordering a more extensive NIPT. (2)

Can the baby's heartbeat predict its sex?

From the moment we first hear our baby’s heartbeat on the doppler, that sound sticks with us for ages - almost like the galloping of a gentle horse. As beautiful as that symphony of life sounds, can it really predict a baby's sex? Well, no. This is one (of many!) old wive’s tales surrounding pregnancy and gender of a baby.

The premise of the myth goes like this: if your baby has a heart rate of 140 BPM or higher and it’s a girl, 140 BPM or lower and it’s a boy. Turns out, research does not support this claim. In fact, this myth has been officially busted. In one study published by Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, sonograms from 966 babies were studied. Long story short, their results showed the opposite of the myth’s claims. It is worth noting though, that the results were very close and there seems to be no correlation whatsoever between heart rate and gender. (3)

How can I find out my baby's sex without a medical test?

Well, whether this is what you want to hear or not, you cannot accurately find out your baby’s sex without some kind of medical tests or imaging - unless you are waiting until their arrival, of course.

You may have heard about gender tests that you can order online, take at home, and send to their lab for testing. Truth be told, the science behind this system is similar to that of an NIPT test: look for the presence of male DNA. The problem is, conditions of your “test area” AKA your bathroom may not be conducive to providing accurate results. Contamination is very possible, even if you are very careful. (4) 

You may have also heard claims about determining gender based on how nauseous a woman may be, dangling a ring on a string in front of your belly to see which way it rotates, and even using food cravings to predict gender, and many other old wives' tales. The truth is, none of it is accurate. It could be fun to guess though!  (5) 

For accurate gender results, it is best to determine the sex of your baby via a method provided by your obGYN, midwife, or care provider. 

Are there any risks associated with tests used to determine my baby's sex?

Some prenatal testing that can be used to predict gender does come with added risk, be sure to speak with your provider for the most accurate information and recommendations. The following tests are invasive and can carry a slight risk of miscarriage. 

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): CVS can be performed between 10-13 weeks and is typically done to detect chromosomal abnormalities. This procedure can be more accurate than an NIPT in detecting things like Down Syndrome, but due to its invasive nature, does carry some risk. 

Amniocentesis: Similar to CVS, amniocentesis testing is usually performed between 15-20 weeks by gathering a sample directly from your uterus. This type of testing may only be recommended for expecting mothers who had an abnormal result from their NIPT or if genetic conditions are present in the family. (1)

Conclusion

There are so many uncertainties that come with pregnancy. From things like whether you’re expecting a boy or a girl - to things like whether or not your dinner is going to sit right. Either way, there are some things you can count on after your baby’s arrival.

One of those is - needing more sleep. Shop with Dreamland Baby for sleep solutions in pink, blue, and many other gender neutral prints and colors. Our gently weighted Sleep Sacks, Swaddles, and Transitional Swaddles help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You can sleep well knowing that they are sleeping safely with Dreamland Baby. 

 

Sources:

 

  1. https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/health-and-safety/when-and-how-can-i-find-out-my-babys-sex_20004784 
  2. https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/health-and-safety/nipt-noninvasive-prenatal-testing_10404483
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/baby-heart-rate-predicting-gender#timeline 
  4. https://glycanage.com/self-care/lifestyle/at-home-gender-blood-test 
  5. https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/news/2016/12/28/6-ways-to-find-out-your-babys-gender-without-a-doctor/117172380/

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