There is no shortage of old wives’ tales when it comes to determining the sex of a baby. From the foods expectant moms crave to the shape of the belly, everyone has their own ways to “tell” what sex the baby will be. But while those methods aren’t exactly scientific, new research shows that there actually may be one surprising way that is more reliable: your blood pressure.
According to The Telegraph, Canadian scientists have found a way to determine the sex of a baby even before it is conceived by looking at the mother’s blood pressure at 26 weeks before conception. So which sex goes with which blood pressure? Higher systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) means the mother will more likely deliver a boy, while lower suggests a girl.
The Telegraph explains that this difference occurs because in stressful times for the body, the male fetus is more likely to survive through the pregnancy than a female fetus. And since higher blood pressure is a form of bodily stress, it leads to a higher chance of having a baby boy join the family.
For the study, scientists recruited 1,411 Chinese women who were trying to become pregnant. Their blood pressure was checked at around 26 weeks before conception and was tracked during pregnancy. Overall the women gave birth to 739 boys and 672 girls. At the conclusion, mean systolic blood pressure before pregnancy was found to be higher in women who subsequently had a boy than in those who delivered a girl.
Does that mean you can theoretically influence the sex of your future child? The Independent reports that it is still unclear whether a mother can influence the outcome of the sex by deliberately raising her blood pressure.
So while you may not be able influence the sex of your future baby, you might be able to figure out if you’re going to go with pink or blue for the nursery just a little bit sooner.