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PREGNANCY OLD WIVES’ TALE #1: HEART RATE AND GENDER

Is there a correlation between baby’s heart rate and gender?

Every day, we all hear it from our moms who are still too early in their pregnancies to know the gender of their baby…

“The heartbeat is high, must be a girl.” 

My response is often the same and is always true, “Yup, it will be a girl… 50% of the time.”

For those of you who have seen Dr. Bass, he gets a kick out of perpetuating this old wives’ tale. I hate to spoil your fun, but there is no correlation between fetal heart rate at any point in pregnancy and the gender of your baby.

Is there data on heart rate and gender?

Yes. A study done in 2006 recorded the heart rate during about 1000 first trimester sonograms. This information was then correlated to the gender found at the 18 week sonogram.

There was no difference in fetal heart between boys and girls. And guess what?

About 50% were boys and 50% were girls… amazing right?

What we do notice is that fetal heart rate is usually above 160 beats per minute from about 9 weeks until about 13 weeks gestation. Then, moving forward, there is a normal range of fetal heart rate from 110 to 160 beats per minute.

The rate at any given time is often related to the movement of the baby. If the baby is moving around during the time we are listening, the heart rate will be a little higher; just like your heart rate when you exercise.

Even though there is no truth to this old wives’ tale, it is still fun to think about and play “guess the gender” with family and friends.

After all, you will be right half of the time!

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3805 Computer Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
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Durant Medical Center
10880 Durant Road, Suite 224
Raleigh, NC 27614
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