Family

Baby’s Gender

A Guide to Determining
First Pregnancy
By Lisa Hurt Kozarovich

Pink or blue – determining baby genderSara Fleury of Phoenix, Ariz., swears by the Chinese fertility chart. Laura Brooks and her friends in Orange County, Calif., say if you want to know the sex of your baby without an ultrasound, the pencil-on-a-string method has proven 90 percent accurate in their group. Then there’s the old urine-in-the-Drano test. In fact, there are dozens of unscientific methods commonly used by expecting couples, all anxious to know whether they’re having a boy or a girl.

Gender on a String

The pencil-, wedding band- or needle-on-a-string test is among the most popular methods, says Ann Douglas, mother of four and author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books (Wiley, 2002).

“This one is Hungarian in nature,” says Douglas, who has researched the folklore behind the methods. “You put the wedding band on a string and hold it still over the belly. If it moves in a strong, circular motion it’s a girl. If it swings in a pendulum motion it’s a boy. It’s psychological – kind of like the Ouija board. You think you’re keeping it still, but there are very slight tremors in your hands that make it move. Still, it’s a fun shower game.”

Carrying High or Low

One of the oldest wives’ tales says if you’re carrying the baby low, it’s a boy, and if you’re carrying it high, it’s a girl.

One of the oldest wives’ tales says if you’re carrying the baby low, it’s a boy, and if you’re carrying it high, it’s a girl.

“This one’s pretty sexist,” Douglas says. “English folklore says boys need to be more independent so they carry lower, while girls need more protection and therefore are carried higher. In reality, how you carry the baby depends on the baby’s position, the shape of your uterus, your posture and the kind of shape your abdomen muscles are in.”

Don’t try telling that to Tara Sinclair of New York, N.Y., who is due very soon. Although she’s not going to find out the sex of her baby – saying life doesn’t provide many other surprises these days – she thinks she’s having a boy because she’s carrying very low and at the front. “The universal opinion is that means it’s a boy,” she says. “If you put on weight all over, then it is supposed to be a girl. This theory has held true with all of my friends.”

Vitamins for Pregnancy

getting your daily dose of prenatal vitamins

By Crystal Patriarche

Vitamins for Pregnancy-Getting Your Daily Dose of Prenatal VitaminsDuring pregnancy, getting adequate nutrition and proper vitamins is top of mind for most moms-to-be. But the importance of vitamins should be considered before and after pregnancy in addition to those beloved nine months.

Many women of childbearing age in the United States do not maintain good nutritional status before, during or after pregnancy. National studies indicate that intakes of vitamin B6, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc and especially calcium are less than recommended levels for women between 20 to 49 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A prenatal vitamin includes all the daily vitamins needed in a woman’s diet.

These days, doctors encourage women to begin a prenatal vitamin even before pregnancy to get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals and to prepare the body for the months to come. A prenatal vitamin includes all the daily vitamins needed in a woman’s diet plus folic acid, which is very important during pregnancy to help decrease the risk of birth defects.

“Pregnancy is the most important time to eat the right foods for yourself and your baby,” says Nicole Britvan, a registered dietitian in San Francisco, Calif., at the Kaiser Permanente Outpatient Nutritional Clinic. “Will the prenatal cover everything? It may, but we never encourage that. Prenatals are coverage to make sure you get what you need.”