After that first joyous news of pregnancy, one of the most exciting announcements might be "It's a boy/girl." Sometimes the declaration comes with tremendous joy, but it can also come with fear or even a little disappointment. Some parents might even want to figure out how they can cheat the 50-50 odds and make it more likely to conceive the boy or girl they prefer.
Some people might be against the idea of choosing the baby's biology, especially since millennial parents are much more accepting of gender nonconformity and allowing kids to be who they want to be. But there are some medical reasons why it makes sense to try for a boy or girl, as well as some personal and family reasons. There are certain genetic diseases that are more prevalent with X or Y chromosomes, so people with certain family histories might be concerned. And let's face it, sometimes moms want daughters and fathers want sons or vice versa.
Of course, the most important part is conceiving a healthy baby, but some parents might have fun trying out these things. We just warn parents to not be disappointed if things don't end up the way that they would prefer.
Here are 10 ways mom can influence what gender the baby will be (and 10 ways doctors say are fake).
20 IVF Gives Control Over Embryos
Modern day science allows a lot of men and women to become parents who might never have been able to conceive a child on their own. An added benefit is that they might be able to choose the sex of their child as well. With in vitro fertilization, the process includes retrieving eggs and and fertilizing them outside of the body.
A lot of times, the embryos are evaluated before they are implanted, and that can mean that doctors know which are male and which are female. If parents have the option of either being just as healthy, they can pick their preference. When Chrissy Teigen said that she picked a daughter first, it sparked controversy, but modern science let her do it.
19 Sorting Technique For IUI
IVF is a very expensive option, so many couples choose to try IUI first, which is intrauterine insemination, a cheaper and less invasive treatment that works for many parents. It involves keeping the egg in the mom and injecting at the optimum time.
There is a method to "sort" the male fluid with new technology, but it isn't always accurate. IUI doesn't always work, but of the successful conceptions with a preference study, about 85 percent or more got the boy or girl that they wanted. It's an amazing scientific breakthrough, but the rest of the items on our list are a little more theoretical and not so scientific.
18 Cough Syrup Trick
For parents who want a baby boy, they might be able to increase their chances with something they have in their medicine cabinet. Cough syrups are designed to thin the mucus in the nasal area, but they can work everywhere that mucus exists, including in the mom's zone.
Some say that thinner mucus can allow for the male cell with Y chromosomes to have a better chance of getting to the egg, so the cough syrup might work. But check out the ingredients and try for the kind with guaifenesin. It's the best for upping your chances to bring home a sweet baby boy.
17 Vegetarian Diet For A Girl
Diet can impact the mom's body, and that can mean that there might be a better climate for male versus female seeds. One of the tips that doctors use is to focus on fruits and vegetables if you want to try to conceive a girl.
Foods that are high in calcium and magnesium such as leafy greens like spinach, as well as grains and rice are said to be good for conceiving girls. Of course, vegetarians still conceive boys at times, but doctors know that eating a healthy diet is a good idea for any woman trying to get pregnant, so eating your veggies is a good plan before having a baby on board anyway.
16 Save It Up For A Boy
Some parents think that they need to do the deed all the time to conceive a baby. But if you are trying for a boy, you need to be more selective. That's because some people say that the guy needs to save up his stuff to give the male swimmer a better chance.
Doctors aren't all on board with this idea, but it's got more backing than some of the other ideas that we have heard. It might decrease the chances of a positive pregnancy test that month, but if it works, it's more likely to be a boy, they say.
15 Bath Time Before Bed Impacts Gender
Sometimes the best way to get in the mood involves getting in some water. Whether it's a hot tub or a bath or even taking a shower together, warm water might get mom and dad in the mood, but it also might impact whether they conceive a boy or a girl.
Doctors believe that male swimmers are heat averse. So it's possible that having a romantic bath is going to increase the chances of conceiving a girl. A dip in a chilly pool might be OK, but otherwise, parents who want a boy should probably stay away from the water — especially warm water — before grown up time so that the male swimmers have a chance.
14 Hit The Weights For A Girl
Moms of all boys might want to hit the weights before they start conceiving again, if they are hoping to welcome a daughter to the family. That's because doctors recommend weight loss and strength training to get the body in the best shape for a little girl.
Whenever a woman is trying to get pregnant, it's best that she is healthy and strong, so this advice should be considered no matter if moms want a boy or a girl or just a healthy baby and mind. There are other ways to change the chances for a boy or a girl, so this one really applies to anyone who is trying to get pregnant.
13 A Dash Of Salt To Increase Boy Chances
Another dietary tip that some us is to think about salt levels. The theory is that the more salt in the mom's diet, the bigger the possibility that she will conceive a boy. Women who want a girl might want to consider cutting salt from their diet for a while — it's probably a little bit healthier anyway.
An extra dash of salt can make life a little tastier for the short-term, and it might things even saltier in the future with a son. And there are some yummy foods that come naturally with a little more salt, such as certain cheese. Just be sure to stay healthy for the baby, whatever it may be.
12 Mucus Mission
Mucus happens. With a woman's body, the amount of discharge and mucus can peak and wane at different times, based on her cycle. And many doctors say that the mucus situation can be a factor in determining if moms conceive a boy or a girl.
It's all about the speed that a swimmer can travel. The ones with the Y chromosome, which lead to boys, prefer to have an unobstructed path, while the ones with the X chromosome can survive in the mucus for longer and get through to the target later on. Mucus levels increase around ovulation, so keep that in mind in scheduling some grown-up time to make a baby.
11 Timing Is Everything
Timing is pretty important when it comes to conceiving a baby. Moms and dads have to time things so that the mom's body is ready and she is ovulating, and some people miss that window for months and need to start tracking signs that the time is right. But doctors say that paying attention to the timing, even more, might increase your chances of getting the gender that you would prefer.
According to some experts, if you want to conceive a girl, parents should time the big event for a few days before ovulation, since female swimmers tend to stay viable for longer. They would be the only ones left for when the egg arrives.
10 Maybe Fake: Method Questions
The thing about the timing method is that there are several theories out there and some of them even contradict each other. The Shettles Method says to go for a girl earlier in the cycle, while the Whealan Method said it's more likely for a boy during that time.
It's important to note that both theories are decades old and both claim to have more than 50 percent success rate — of course, you always have a 50-50 shot at getting the gender you would prefer, so we're not sure that either are as tried and true as they claim to be.
9 Maybe Fake: The Great Boxer Debate
A lot of people used to put a lot of emphasis on the boxers versus briefs debate. It used to come up in fertility consultations, making lots of men uncomfortable. But while many people have decided that it isn't such a big deal, there are some that think it still might be a factor in the baby's gender.
In theory, briefs keep everything hotter down below, which puts the Y chromosome at a disadvantage. So men who want to have a boy should switch to boxers for a bit. It just might give the family jewels some room and cool them down so that the boy swimmers can thrive.
8 Maybe Fake: Check The Moon
A lot of people are superstitious about phases of the moon. It'll come up again a lot closer to the delivery, since people say that a full moon can cause a rush at the hospital of women in labor. But in the beginning, one old wives tale points to the moon as a gender predictor.
The saying is that if a family conceives on the night of a quarter moon then it's more likely to be a boy. Some doctors buy into the full moon thing, but this quarter moon one isn't one that they believe. But if you want to try everything, check out the moon calendar.
7 Maybe Fake: Acidic Food Gives You A Girl
There are a lot of dietary tips when it comes to conceiving the baby with the sex that you are hoping for. But a lot of times there are only a few studies that look into the issue. One theory says that having acidic food before conceiving can help in conceiving a girl.
The idea is that male swimmers don't survive as well in acidic environments. So moms should eat things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and sauerkraut. This is the time to down the orange juice and up the sugar for a little bit so that you can welcome your little girl in about nine months time.
6 Maybe Fake: Altering pH Down Below
Instead of worrying about the diet, some women prefer to go straight to the area in question to try to conceive the girl or boy of her dreams. The more acidic the area, the bigger chance for a girl, and the more alkaline ups the chances for a boy, so they test the discharge and try to make changes.
The thing is that altering the pH down below usually includes a lot of douching. Doctors used to be OK with that idea, but they have found that douching can increase the risk of infections down there, so they discourage moms-to-be from doing anything that might put any baby conceived at risk.
5 Maybe Fake: Chinese Lunar Calendar
There are some people that think that having a boy or girl is all about the stars. But in the Chinese culture, it's all about the moon. There are a bunch of websites devoted to the Chinese lunar calendar method of trying to conceive a boy or a girl.
The chart has the current year and the year that you are born. Of course, moms have to consider the time of their ovulation, but this guide might help you show which month to try for a boy versus a girl. It's a little complicated and — let's face it — a little mystical. But it might be fun for some to think about.
4 Maybe Fake: Stop Cardio To Conceive A Boy
We're not really sure about the reasoning for this one. But a few lists about conceiving baby boys say to ditch the cardio for a bit. It might have something to do with the way that mom's heart beats, but we really don't know the thought behind it, and that's why we aren't so sure it's real.
Doctors would never recommend that moms stop exercising. It's best for moms to be healthy to conceive and to have a good pregnancy. It might be better to try other things and continue your exercise regime so that mom is in the best shape possible to carry the baby —boy or girl — for the next nine months.
3 Maybe Fake: Milk Does Conceiving A Girl Good
Milk does a body good whether they are conceiving a baby or not. But some say that some extra dairy ca help in helping families to conceive a baby girl, although we're not so sure that it's reliable. It might be worth a try for a family of boys.
The reason this seems weird to us is that it's often said in the same breath of needing to eat acidic food. We always thought that milk calmed acidic stomachs, so it might be a little contradictory to that other theory. But since milk is pretty healthy to prepare a woman's body for pregnancy, we're not opposed to the idea.
2 Maybe Fake: A Cup For Joe
Milk isn't the only drink that might be able to cheat the system and conceive a baby boy. This time, though, dad has to have the drink. There are some that say having some caffeine before doing the deed can get the male swimmer really revved up to get to the egg quickly.
Some say a cup of coffee can give men energy for the task at hand and also give their fluids a little bit of a boost. But we're not so sure that it's actually true. But it might make things more fun. So why not give it a try?
1 Maybe Fake: Kits For Sale
There are some kits for sale that promise to help mom conceive a boy or a girl. They are a lot less money than going through fertility processes that can help decide on a certain gender. But doctors say you should just keep your money because they don't really work.
A lot of those kits include materials for douching and changing pH, and women need to remember that this could increase their risk of infection. Keep in mind that you have a 50-50 shot of getting a boy or a girl and feel blessed with a healthy baby, no matter the sex.