Above all else, couples want a healthy baby but if you could influence whether you conceive a boy or girl by making a few dietary adjustments, would you?
While studies on gender selection diets aren't scientifically backed, there is research to suggest that eating foods low in sodium and potassium and rich in calcium and magnesium can increase the chance of having a baby girl.
Theory is it changes the mineral content of a women's uterine environment, making it acidic. Cervical mucus, which is normally thick and acidic, changes around the time of ovulation, becoming thinner and more alkaline. Because girl sperm live longer than boys, they're deemed hardier and more likely to survive an acidic environment.
According to babymed.com, the "girl diet" recommends a woman consume daily:
- 3 glasses of milk (milk and cheese are prohibited on the "boy diet" because they are very good sources of calcium)
- 2 milk products such as yoghurt, custard, or pudding
- Only sodium-free or small servings of low sodium cheeses
- Eggs (though preparation must be considered, for example, no cheese omelets due to the high sodium content of the cheese)
- Mineral water: Evian and Perrier
- 1 very weak cup of coffee or tea due to high potassium content
- Salt-free bread and crackers (must be less than 1% salt)
- Brown or white rice
- Semolina, tapioca, corn-flour, puffed rice cereals (whole wheat bread is not allowed as it is richer in potassium and contains phytic acid which lowers calcium absorption in the intestine)
- 8-10 250ml servings of water daily to aid in calcium absorption
Recommendations for a "boy diet" include consuming more calories, and eating foods high in potassium, in particular bananas and to not skip breakfast. Some sources also suggest eating red meat and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
Along with dietary changes, research suggests timing intercourse based on when you ovulate. The Shettles Method backs the theory that girl producing (X-sperm) move slower but are more resilient and live longer than male-producing (Y-sperm), which are faster but have shorter life spans.
To conceive a girl, have sex two to four days before you ovulate – that way the X-sperm will be the only sperm alive and in your fallopian tubes by the time your egg drops.
These methods of gender selection are not science-based and come with no guarantee but establishing good eating habits may boost your chances of conceiving and will make it easier to maintain a sensible diet when you are pregnant.
The following foods will give you the extra vitamins you need to maximise your fertility...
- Folic acid, found in green vegetables and whole grains.
- Lean meats
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Berries, which are rich in antioxidants
- Fatty fish such as salmon for omega-3
- Aphrodisiacs, including ginger, oysters and dark chocolate to help get you in the mood!