The news of a pregnancy is some of the most exciting news any parent can receive. Whether or not the pregnancy was expected, after the initial surprise, most parents begin to anticipate the life changing events of having a little one of their own. From Mama’s changing system, to the baby shower, nursery preparations, making birth plans, and finally meeting the little one after nine very long months, it’s all a very exciting time in a parent-to-be’s life. Also, there’s a lot going on with the rapidly growing little baby in Mom’s belly.
There is a lot going on in the end stage of any pregnancy, but parents are obviously pretty anxious to know characteristics of their little one. Everybody wonders, of course, what the baby will look like? Will he or she have Mom or Dad’s eyes? Will they have hair? Will they have a chin dimple like their Grandpa? In addition to knowing what the baby's personality will be like, everyone wants to know who they'll look like when they grow up. Luckily, there are a few things that can be predicted before the baby is even born, but some things parents just have to wait and find out.
20 The Gender
A lot of expectant parents are very anxious to find out the gender. It’s the number one thing they want to know, and luckily, it’s pretty easy to find out, all in good time. “An ultrasound is the least invasive way to find out if you are having a boy or a girl. It is usually done between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. However, after about the 14th week of gestation, you can get a very accurate idea of your baby's gender based on specific signs that technicians look for. They typically are looking at the direction of the [tubercle], rather than the actual external [organs],” shares VeryWellFamily.com.
19 The Due Date
Another thing that is easy to predict about your unborn baby, is when they will make their grand entrance into the world! Though baby will come when he or she wants to, sometimes early, sometimes late, you can get a pretty good prediction of when they will be born. “Your due date is calculated by adding 280 days (40 weeks) to the first day of your last menstrual period (assuming a 28 day cycle). Note that your menstrual period and ovulation are counted as the first two weeks of pregnancy. If you deliver on your due date, your baby is actually only 38 weeks old, not 40,” shares YourDueDate.com. “Please remember that your due date is only an estimate. Every pregnancy is unique and your baby will come when it's ready. Be sure to talk to your health care provider about your due date.On average only 5% of births take place exactly on the estimated due date. Most are born within a week either side of the estimated due date. A normal pregnancy can last anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks,” adds YourDueDate.com.
18 The Baby’s size
Believe it or not, weight is also a factor that can be predicted before the baby is born. Not all doctor’s will off this information up without being prompted. So if you are curious how big your little one might be when they arrive, ask your doctor to do an estimate. “Your OB may or may not venture a ballpark guess of baby’s size. If she does throw out a number, don’t expect it to be spot on. It’s just a guesstimate, based on how big your uterus feels, how you’re measuring, and your own stature. That said, many moms report being surprised by their doc's accurate guess!” writes TheBump.com.
17 Red Type
Though you can’t say for certain what babies blood type is until he or she arrives, you can certainly get a pretty good guess. “In genetics, blood type gene has two alleles, each allele has genotype A, B or O. The A and B are dominant, and O is recessive. So allele A combined with allele O is type A. Similarly, BO is type B, AA is type A, BB is type B, OO is type O, and AB is type AB,” explains EndMemo.com. Does that make any sense to you? Me either. The good news is that this site, along with several others have blood type prediction calculators, so if you are interested in predicting blood type, you can certainly do so.
16 How Many Babies Are In there
Thank the stars this is something unexpecting parents can be warned about. You can likely found at at your first or second appointment just how many little heartbeats you have beating in your belly. “Using harmless sound waves, a Doppler system amplifies fetal heart sounds, usually distinguishable late in the first trimester. An experienced physician or midwife may be able to detect more than one heartbeat, indicating a multiple pregnancy,” writes VeryWellFamily.com. VeryWellFamily.com also explains that the only way to know for sure, though, is by ultrasound.
Odds are you are probably carrying only one baby, though! “To keep it in perspective, not everyone is having twins. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016 there were 33 twin births for every 1,000 births in the United States. For every 1,000 births, one of them was triplets or higher multiple births,” writes TodaysParent.com.
15 You Can Get A Sense Of Baby’s Sleep Routine
Is your little peanut more active at certain times of the day? If you pay close enough attention, you might be able to catch onto his or her sleep patterns. Knowing your little’s sleep schedule in advance could help prepare you for life with a newborn. “Just like newborns, fetuses spend most of their time sleeping. At 32 weeks, your baby sleeps 90 to 95 percent of the day. Some of these hours are spent in deep sleep, some in REM sleep, and some in an indeterminate state -- a result of his immature brain. During REM sleep, his eyes move back and forth just like an adult's eyes. Some scientists even believe that fetuses dream while they're sleeping!” shares Parents.com.
14 Genetic Testing
Another test you can choose to have done is genetic testing. Genetic testing provides information about any conditions your little may have. Many parents opt out of the screening, but many parents do the testing in order to be prepared for any bumps in the road they may encounter. “Genetic disorders are caused by changes in a person’s genes or chromosomes. Aneuploidy is a condition in which there are missing or extra chromosomes. In a trisomy, there is an extra chromosome. In a monosomy, a chromosome is missing. Inherited disorders are caused by changes in genes called mutations. Inherited disorders include sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, Tay–Sachs disease, and many others. In most cases, both parents must carry the same gene to have an affected child,” shares ACOG.org. This topic can be a tough one to talk about, but it’s always best to talk all of these things through with your doctor.
13 You Can Get A Glimpse At Your Little’s Facial Features
Can’t wait to get a peek at your little one’s facial features? Some parents opt to have 3D/4D ultrasounds done to get that first peek at what he or she might look like. Many doctors and insurance companies do not cover the costs of 3D ultrasounds, but parents who are really anxious will pay out of pocket for this keepsake. “Like regular ultrasounds, 3D and 4D ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your baby in your womb. What's different is that 3D ultrasounds create a three-dimensional image of your baby, while 4D ultrasounds create a live video effect, like a movie -- you can watch your baby smile or yawn. Parents often want 3D and 4D ultrasounds. They let you see your baby's face for the first time,” shares WebMD.com.
12 Food Preferences
“Research has shown us that not only is the machinery [to taste] there,” says professor Julie Mennella, a biopsychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, “but infants will respond differently to a flavour they experienced in amniotic fluid as well as in the mother’s milk.” For example, when Mennella randomly assigned a group of mothers to either drink carrot juice regularly during pregnancy or lactation, or to avoid carrots, she found that “the babies who had experienced the flavour of carrots either in amniotic fluid or in mother’s milk were more accepting of that food at weaning,” writes TodaysParent.com. You might be craving all kinds of junk food, but if you stick to the healthier options chances are your little one will be more likely to eat his or her veggies!
11 Music Preferences
Just like taste, you can also influence your little one’s musical preference while they are still in the womb. Want to ensure your little one has musical taste like yours? “Researchers asked 12 women to play a CD of songs that included, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" loudly five times a week from 29 weeks until birth. The researchers then tweaked the song, making some notes different, before playing it back to the infants after birth. The infants also had their brain activity analyzed while listening to the song. Those babies who had been exposed to the music in the womb had greater brain activation than a control group who had never heard the song before -- but only when the correct notes were played. There's no evidence that playing certain kinds of music will make your baby any more intelligent or help their development, but associating certain types of music with their mother relaxing might help to calm them down,” writes Forbes.com.
10 Actual Birth size (After They’re Born)
Though you can get a good guess ahead of time, you cannot tell your baby’s actual birth weight until they are actually born. “A baby's birthweight is an important indicator of health. The average weight for term babies (born between 37 and 41 weeks gestation) is about 7 lbs (3.2 kg). In general, small babies and very large babies are more likely to have problems. Babies are weighed daily in the nursery to assess growth and fluid and nutrition needs. Newborn babies may lose as much as 10 percent of their birthweight. This means that a baby weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces at birth might lose as much as 10 ounces in the first few days,” writes Chop.edu.
9 And Actual Birth Height (After They’re Born)
Similar to birth height, you cannot tell actual birth height until a baby is born. Aside from your baby’s height, you can also expect the doctor to measure head and abdominal circumference. You can also expect that at your little one’s wellness check-ups they will continue to take your baby’s measurement. All of these measurements are to make sure your little one is growing right on track. “There's one thing you can expect at every well-child visit: Your baby will be weighed and measured. Your child's practitioner will then plot these measurements on infant growth charts, which help doctors keep tabs on a child's growth, both over time and compared to national averages. Although your child's pediatrician is on the lookout for any drastic increases or decreases over a short period of time, know that it's often totally fine to have a not-so-average growth curve,” states WhatToExpect.com.
8 Does Baby Look Like Mommy Or Daddy? (After They’re Born)
You can opt for as many ultrasounds as you want, but only time will tell whether that little one is going to look like their Mom or Dad. “While you can't help but make predictions, you can never be sure what your little one will look like. "If we examined all a fetus's DNA, we still wouldn't be able to truly anticipate things," says Barry Starr, Ph.D., geneticist in residence at The Tech Museum, in San Jose, California. "So much is unknown about genes,” writes Parents.com. Regardless, the anticipation is half of the fun, so dream away about that sweet babe!
7 Do They Have Hair!? (After They’re Born)
Is the baby going to have hair or not!? So many moms wonder about this while they dream about holding that sweet little one for the first time. And if they do have hair, what color will it be? “Each individual inherits multiple gene pairs that play a role in determining hair color (a pair means one gene from Mom and one from Dad). Say your baby inherits 10 pairs of genes in all; that means 20 different genes could affect her tresses, says Michael Begleiter, a genetic counselor at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, in Kansas City, Missouri. (Scientists haven't yet determined how many genes ultimately determine hair's hue.) In a case like mine, in which two brunettes produce a towhead, both parents carry recessive blond genes among the dominant browns -- but only the light genes were passed on,” writes Parents.com.
6 Eye Color
“Most babies are born with blue or gray eyes, but depending on the color of your eyes and your partner's eyes, they may or may not remain their birth color,” writes VeryWellHealth.com. “In a newborn baby's eyes, the pigmentation process of the iris is not yet complete. Babies with darker skin are usually born with dark eyes that stay relatively dark. Iris color in lighter-skinned babies is usually a blue or bluish-gray color at birth, then slowly changes,” adds VeryWellHealth.com. You may get to see what color your little ones eyes are when they are born, but you’ll have to wait a few more years to see if they change colors or not!
5 What Does Your Baby’s Cry Sound Like (After They’re Born)
You’ve waited nine long months and you finally hear that sweet baby’s cry, and you will be hearing it a lot in the days to come! “Evolutionarily speaking, offspring of mammals cry as a signal to their parents that they need immediate attention, says Darcia Narvaez, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana,” shares TheBump.com. Luckily for you, you will soon catch on to all of the different cries your baby has. From being tired, hungry or needing a diaper change, you will be in tune with all of those cries before you know it.
4 Does Your Baby Prefer Mom Or Dad? (After They’re Born)
Often times baby’s have a favorite person they want to calm them down when they’re fussy. Often times it’s mom, whose scent they are most used to and comfortable with. Though, sometimes, it might be Dad who has the magic touch in calming baby down. Whether baby prefers mom or dad, try walking around to soothe a fussy baby. “Study results published in April in the journal Current Biology revealed that infants experience an automatic calming reaction when carried. During the research, infants younger than 6 months old immediately stopped crying and voluntary movement, plus showed a fast decrease in heart rate when carried by a walking mom vs. those infants held by a sitting mom,” writes AHCHealthENews.com.
3 Do They Have Other Preferences? (After They’re Born)
You might be able to start influencing your child's sense of music and taste, but there are some things you will have to wait and find out. And many of these things will take trial and error. Does you baby like to be swaddled or not? Or maybe he or she likes to be swaddled but only if his arms are left out. Does a messy diaper make her fussy? Do you have to sing Jingle Bells three times fast during a diaper change so he doesn’t cry? These are all tips and tricks that will just come along with getting to know your baby! After all, life outside the womb can be very overwhelming, for new parents and their baby!
2 Is Their Belly-Button An Innie Or Outie? (After They’re Born)
Another thing you have to wait and find out to see, is whether or not your little one has an innie or outie belly button. And though this might not seem like a big deal, it’s just another cute little feature of your baby that you will be fascinated with. “The ultimate shape of the belly button depends on a number of factors, according to Indianapolis plastic surgeon Barry Eppley, MD, including how the scar attaches to underlying muscles, the looseness of surrounding skin, the fat under the skin, and how flat or protruding your belly is. “Belly buttons vary greatly in their size and shape,” he says on his blog, Explore Plastic Surgery,” shares EveryDayHealth.org.
1 And Other Birthmarks And Unique Characteristics (After They’re Born)
Is your little one going to have a birthmark or other distinguishing feature? This is something you might not think about ahead of time, but it’s so fun to find them once they are born. “No one knows what causes many types of birthmarks, but some run in families. Your baby's doctor will look at the birthmark to see if it needs any treatment or if it should be watched. Pigmented birthmarks aren't usually treated, except for moles. Treatment for vascular birthmarks includes laser surgery,” MedLinePlus.gov. Most birthmarks are completely harmless and it’s actually kind of cute if your little one has one of these distinguishing little features!
References: www.sparknotes.com, www.verywellfamily.com, www.yourduedate.com, www.thebump.com, www.endmemo.com, www.todaysparent.com, www.parents.com, www.acog.org, www.webmd.com, www.forbes.com, www.medlineplus.gov, www.ahchealthenews.com, www.everydayhealth.com,