Are you having a boy or girl? It’s the question even complete strangers like to ask us when we’re pregnant. So, what are the most reliable ways to determine the gender of your unborn child? And is there any medical basis for all those crazy wives-tales out there?
“Gender Prediction: Fact Vs. Fiction”
Episode 15, August 6th 2012
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
Tina Erwin: It’s one of the biggest questions you have throughout your pregnancy and it’s also the question most people ask the moment they notice your growing bump. Are you having a boy or girl? You may think you know the answer, but just how reliable are our methods for predicting a baby’s gender? I’m Tina Erwin, a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and this is Preggie Pals, Episode 15.
Sunny Gault: Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host, Sunny Gault. If you haven’t heard, we have just released our Preggie Pals Apps which are now available in the Amazon Android Market and the iTunes Apps Store, so now you can take Preggie Pals wherever you go! They have great features like the ability to star you favorite episodes as well as instant access to our most recent episodes and social networking sites. If you have an interesting birth story to share, we would love to hear from you. We want to talk with you, actually, via video Skype, about your story and then we are going to include that video on our website for everyone to see, because it’s all about growing and learning from other people’s experiences. So if that sounds interesting to you, go to http://www.preggiepals.com/submityourstory and send some information. Alright, let’s get to know our Panelists here in the studio and we will start with Stephanie.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Hi. I am Stephanie Saalfeld, I am 29. I am a gemologist. I am due January 9th with my first child. We do not know the gender yet. And we are having a hospital birth.
Misty Davies: My name is Misty Davies, I am 33. I am a gemologist. My due date is October 10th. I am having a girl. It’s my first and I’m hoping for an un-medicated hospital birth.
Sunny Gault: So as far as gender prediction for you, you are like “Well I already know!”
Misty Davies: Yeah!
Sunny Gault: But there might have been a lot leading into that, right? A lot of questions in your mind, as far as what you are going through.
Misty Davies: Yes.
Sunny Gault: Well, I look forward to listening to you guy’s stories. We’ll be right back.
[Featured Segments: From Our Listeners - Thanks for the Podcasts!]
Sunny Gault: Alright, before we get started with today’s episode, I want to read to you an email we recently got from one of our listeners. This is from Chrystal Freeson and she says:
“Hi Sunny, thanks so much for the podcasts. I am due at the end of November with our first child and we are so excited. At the beginning I found it hard to feel close to the baby, so I started listening to momma-baby affirmations before bed. It’s my favorite part of the day now and I play out at least one scene from our life with our baby every night and I now feel like we already have a child. Thanks again for the information and comfort I get in knowing others are feeling the same as me.”
Isn’t that sweet? I love, I love getting these, so please keep them coming. If you have any questions, comments, concern, anything, we want to hear it. Visit our website at http://www.preggiepals.com and send us an email.
Sunny Gault: Today, we are exploring gender prediction, which is always a popular topic amongst pregnant women. Tina Erwin is joining us here in the studio. Tina is a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. And she says that she’s doing this for so long, that the baby she scanned at the beginning of her career is now having babies.
Sunny Gault: I love that quote, I think that’s fantastic! So welcome to the show Tina.
Tina Erwin: Why, thank you.
Sunny Gault: I need to know the difference between Sonography and having an Ultra Sound?
Tina Erwin: It’s actually the same thing.
Sunny Gault: So why do we have two different…..
Tina Erwin: It’s just the Naming Convention, the location where you are having your study done. We call them Ultra Sounds, but we also say, “This patient is going to have a fetal echo”. It’s all the same.
Sunny Gault: Really?
Tina Erwin: Yeah, it’s really just to confuse us. It is, it is. It’s all Ultra Sound. We are using the same equipment, we are doing the same type of measurements, it’s all the same.
Sunny Gault: Okay, so for your title, could I also say like “Ultra Sound Technician”?
Tina Erwin: Or Technologist is actually the term we use, or Sonographer is what we usually call ourselves.
Sunny Gault: Okay, okay good. I had to clear the air on that because it’s so confusing sometimes. Okay so, in your opinion, have we come a long way in being able to accurately predict a baby’s gender?
Tina Erwin: As far as Ultra Sound, absolutely. When I started, you rarely could see. I mean, the equipment was much more limited than it is today. Today, it’s very high tech and we can see so much and we can very accurately predict the gender of the baby. Is it all about the technology really as far as…, you know, do you have to have the latest and greatest equipment? Or… Well, no, not necessarily. I always say that having different types of Ultra Sound equipment is almost like having a different kind of car. There is, you know, sometimes in a Doctor’s office, what they may have is like an old Volkswagen.
Sunny Gault: Yeah.
Tina Erwin: It’s great transportation, it gets you where you need to go…..
Sunny Gault: Right.
Tina Erwin: ...but it’s not a Rolls Royce. Some of the higher tech equipment that you see in a hospital setting or a high risk OB setting is going to be much more advanced, high-tech. Now we have 3D, 4D, so there’s all kinds of equipment out there. Generally can get you where you need to go.
Sunny Gault: Do you use the 4D and 3D equipment?
Tina Erwin: We don’t. You usually see those in a more of a high risk. We do…, we have excellent equipment and It’s very state-of-the-art.
Sunny Gault: Okay, good. The main part of this is talking about Ultra Sounds, but are there some other ways out there that are popular in determining baby gender?
Tina Erwin: As far as on the medical side, the most common one would be Amnio sentises and that’s always very, very accurate. They can do it usually around 16 weeks.
Sunny Gault: It’s also invasive, right?
Tina Erwin: It is invasive. As far as non-invasive methods, there might be some things they are doing with Lab-work now, with blood, but the skin it’s a little bit invasive. Ultra Sound is very, very reliable these days. So…
Sunny Gault: Anything just with urine or no? Not that you are aware of.
Tina Erwin: Not that I’m aware of.
Sunny Gault: Okay, alright. So, basically, Ultra Sound is our main way to determine us, right?
Tina Erwin: Right.
Sunny Gault: Okay. So, what exactly is an Ultra Sound? When we get these done and as a pregnant woman, you may have several, depending, you know, if you are high risk, obviously, you’ll have a lot more. What’s going on?
Tina Erwin: Absolutely. What we are doing is taking a look at the entire pregnancy. So we are looking at the uterus, we look at the ovaries, the amniotic fluid, the placenta, we look at everything. We are using high-frequency sound waves, so it’s not dangerous to the baby, we are not using Radiation and the sound is transmitted through and it’s what we call attenuates through the different structures within the baby and the mom’s body. And then, we get an image that comes from that. So, it’s very, very simple to do, you know, a full bladder is probably most difficult thing for the moms to have!
Sunny Gault: I actually want to hear from them on that, because I have my own, you know, experiences. But with our panelists here today, have you guys had any ultra sounds yet? What’s been your experience?
Stephanie Saalfeld: Yes, I’ve had two. And honestly, I didn’t have a problem with the full bladder.
Sunny Gault: No?
Stephanie Saalfeld: No.
Tina Erwin: Everybody’s different. I have to tell you, now we have the patients drink much less water than what we used to do. We used to do 64 ounces ….
Sunny Gault: Oh my gosh!
Tina Erwin: ….and now it’s you know, much, much less than that. It’s just because the technology has gotten so much better.
Sunny Gault: That would have caused a problem!
Tina Erwin: Yeah. No. That’s why I always say, as a Sonographer, I learned to scan much faster because I had patients peeing on my toes!
All: Oh no!
Tina Erwin: Absolutely, absolutely!
Misty Davies: I…., yeah, I had a full bladder for one of mine and it was very unpleasant.
Tina Erwin: Yeah, it can be very unpleasant.
Sunny Gault: Well sometimes though, we need it from the beginning and then you can allow them to use the rest-room and come back.
Tina Erwin: Right, right. Usually what we do, we take a quick look. What we are looking for is the length of the cervix, we want to make sure that it’s nice and long and intact and then we also look at where the placenta is in relation to the cervix. So we want to make sure that the placenta is away, so that there is not a previa, and that the cervix is closed. You know? And then after that, I let them empty their bladder.
Sunny Gault: So that’s the best way to see that….
Tina Erwin: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly.
Sunny Gault: Okay, alright. So, what time frame are we talking about? How early? I know we have good equipment right now, but when it comes to ultra sounds, how early can someone you know, determine a baby’s gender?
Tina Erwin: Well, to be truly accurate, we like to wait till about 16 to 18 weeks. I always say 18 weeks and beyond is best. You know? Because then you can really get a clear, clear picture. I’ve seen it much earlier…., I hate to set up peer of mom’s expectations though, because…..
Sunny Gault: Right, right.
Tina Erwin: …..then you have to say, “Well, I think….”, I don’t like to use that term. I want to be able to say “100 percent positive, this is what you’re having!”.
Sunny Gault: Are we ever 100 percent positive?
Tina Erwin: Oh absolutely!
Sunny Gault: Really?!
Tina Erwin: Oh, sometimes it’s so clear it’s like, “Oh, go home and paint the nursery, buy the clothes”, so absolutely, absolutely!
Sunny Gault: I wasn’t so sure that you would admit 100 percent because I don’t think…..
Tina Erwin: Oh absolutely!
Sunny Gault: Ahhh!
Misty Davies: I was going to say, can you tell the patients that though?
Tina Erwin: Oh yeah! I do, I have. You know I’ve been doing this for a long, long time and I don’t tell people unless I’m 100 percent positive. And I always tell them “If I’m wrong, call me up.” And no, in all the years I’ve done this no one has ever called and said, “Oops you were wrong!”. So…, but I’m also very cautious with it, very cautious.
Stephanie Saalfeld: But is it more obvious when it’s a boy?
Tina Erwin: Absolutely! Absolutely, absolutely.
Sunny Gault: So Stephanie is actually going after today’s taping to get her’s done. She’s not quite at 20 weeks. Which 20 weeks is kind of the big time, where they look at a lot of things and you know, now obviously today we are talking about gender prediction, but you obviously want to have a healthy baby in so many different ways. So that’s what the 20 week is for, but Stephanie tell us a little bit about your experience and your appointment today.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Well, I…., yeah, we’re doing it a little bit early just because my husband is going to be overseas for 20 weeks, so we wanted to find out together. Yeah…., the place we are going to claims to be able to do it at 15 weeks and up, so, you know, I’m hoping that they actually really will know what they are doing!
Sunny Gault: What is…., what is the danger Tina, at doing it at 15 or 16 weeks? Is it….., we are always concerned that the baby is just not going to be in the right position and is not going to co-operate.
Tina Erwin: And that’s always a risk. I mean, there is times, you know, the mom’s 22, 24 weeks and the baby’s not positioned well and it can be very difficult. And I always find that it’s: The more the mom wants to know, the harder it is to tell. Sometimes it’s like “Okay, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know what it is!” and then it’s like “Hang it out for the world to see!”
All: Oh, right!
Tina Erwin: You know kind of covering up the screen. There isn’t a ….., I mean, sometimes it can be hard to see and that’s about the only risk. I’ve seen, you know, occasionally they were wrong, but that’s just like with one of the risks with, you know, ultra sound and gender prediction.
Misty Davies: And they do offer a free follow-up if they can’t figure it out.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Oh, that’s good. Yeah.
Tina Erwin: Yeah.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Well that makes me feel a little better about it.
Tina Erwin: Yeah, no, it should be fine, I mean the equipment today is so good that it’s rare that somebody’s wrong.
Stephanie Saalfeld: And of course, I want to know so bad, so of course it’s going to be modest and have the place …..
Tina Erwin: Yeah, exactly, exactly. If you said, “I didn’t want to know”, it would be…., it would be hanging out there.
Sunny Gault: And you are going for a what? What do you want? Of course you want whatever you get, I mean I get it. But….
Stephanie Saalfeld: Yeah. We would both really like to have a boy first, but, you know, my gut tells me it’s a girl!
Stephanie Saalfeld: And I don’t know…., you know, I’m really excited to talk about this topic today because I want to know, you know, I don’t know why my gut tells me it’s a girl!
Tina Erwin: You know what? A lot of mom’s do that, and I was just like we were talking earlier, moms will say “I really want this, but I really feel….” And a lot of times, their gut is right. It’s really, it’s amazing.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Misty was wrong.
Tina Erwin: Yeah, I know, that’s what we were talking about. But a lot of times, I give a lot of moms a lot of credit for knowing.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Yeah, Misty and mine were wrong….,
Sunny Gault: But don’t feel bad!
Stephanie Saalfeld: Well, I hope I’m wrong too.
Sunny Gault: Well the whole mother’s intuition did not work for me on this whole thing. Okay, but let’s talk about…., okay so, in determining a boy versus a girl, honestly, there are certain things you are looking for either or. So let’s talk about what it is. Some of these are obvious, obviously…, but what are you looking for?
Tina Erwin: Right, right. Just basically if there is indoor or outdoor plumbing is what I like to say.
Sunny Gault: Okay.
Tina Erwin: That’s the only way to tell.
Sunny Gault: Okay. Isn’t there something also with a little girl? I can’t remember…..
Tina Erwin: Sometimes they say turtle or a hamburger….
Misty Davies: Hamburger sign. Yeah, that’s it. Yeah, exactly.
Sunny Gault: Can you see ovaries or anything like that at point with little girls.
Tina Erwin: No, no you don’t see ovaries, no you don’t. No.
Sunny Gault: No, okay. So there’s really no change in either, you know, the ways…. Are there other parts of the body are developing or anything like that?
Tina Erwin: No. I mean if you even look at babies when they are born, if you have a diaper on them, how can you tell?
Sunny Gault: Right. Well, it’s true. Well, the face, they all look the same!
Tina Erwin: Exactly, exactly. So no, that’s the only way to tell.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Okay, I have heard that…., and I don’t know how true this is, but where the placenta is attached or is where the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta on either side that could determine something? I don’t know. I’ve just heard that.
Tina Erwin: No. Yeah. Not as far as the gender of the baby. What can happen is that women with an, what we call and anterior placenta, is a placenta is on the surface on the front, sometimes it makes it easier to see, because you have that nice, even window to look through. With ultra sound, it’s all about finding a sonographic window. And so, sometimes it makes it look easier for us to see, but has nothing to do with the sex of the baby.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Okay
Sunny Gault: I know we talked a little bit about this as far as predicting something and being 100 percent accurate, but assuming someone’s coming in and you know, around 20 weeks or whatever, and the baby seems to be co-operating, you know, we can say with 100 percent certainty, are there things I guess that could prevent, you know, you saying with 100 percent certainty?
Tina Erwin: A lot of times it’s, you know, it’s positional, the baby’s legs are together, or the baby’s faced down; that could be a game killer right there!
Sunny Gault: Oh really?
Tina Erwin: Yeah, because you know, you get the spine in the way and it can make it hard to see. If the baby’s laying on their back, it’s usually really easy to see. And sometimes, you just wait around, you know you scan the rest of the baby, you do your whole exam, and you come back and you can see it, because they do move. That’s probably one of the biggest things. Sometimes, you know, mom’s size, you know, can make a little bit of a difference. But usually, we don’t have too much difficulty seeing. So….
Sunny Gault: If you think that there’s a little girl, you know, I guess, you know, at least I’ve heard, you know, people come back from these appointments and say, well they think it’s a little girl, but it could be hiding. Or you know, something like that…
Tina Erwin: Yeah, a boy!
Sunny Gault: It could’ve been tough to weigh them out. Or maybe that was an umbilical cord; it wasn’t what I thought it was! So, are you more, just a tad bit more reserved if you think it’s a girl as opposed to a boy?
Tina Erwin: I can be sometimes. And you know, sometimes if it’s really early, but I don’t like to tell people because I feel like you say “I think”, and they hear “girl”. And they don’t hear that little question and they start shopping. And I hate to set people for that, so unless I’m really sure, oh no, I don’t like to tell them. And I know I’ve disappointed some people over the years but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Because that’s ….., I had a patient one time that came in and she’d been told at another site that she’s going to have a girl and I was like “That’s not a girl! Oh, that is not a girl!
Tina Erwin: And she’s…., but she didn’t know who to believe, you know, here’s two sonographers who have told her two different things!
Sunny Gault: Well, then I think you believe whoever told you later in your pregnancy, right?
Tina Erwin: Well, you could just see the shock on her face because she had just had a baby shower!
All: Oh no! Oh my gosh!
Tina Erwin: And she was like: “I’ve just had my baby shower! You can’t be right! I mean, no! You have to be wrong!” And I’m like, “Okay, I’ve been doing this a long time, but look, I may bring in another sonographer that I’ve worked with. She and I have both been doing this for a long, long time”. She came in and took a look and she goes: “Oh, it’s a boy!” And I didn’t tell her why I was asking her to look.
Sunny Gault: Oh yeah, yeah!
Tina Erwin: And she’s…. and just this poor girl just started crying. I felt so bad. And not that she didn’t want a boy, she ……
Sunny Gault: She just thought it was going to be something else.
Tina Erwin: …… and she just had a shower. So, I mean, hey….
Sunny Gault: Wow!
Misty Davies: Well, that’s a good excuse to go shopping again!
All: Wow, there you go! It’s a lot of work though! Yeah….
Sunny Gault: Do you find more and more people are waiting until, you know, labor and delivery birth to find out or do still have a lot of people.
Tina Erwin: It’s actually the opposite. I mean, when I started doing ultra sound, we couldn’t tell, and then we started, people were like “No, I can wait. I don’t want to know”. And now I can say that it’s incredibly rare for someone to say “I don’t want to know, don’t tell me”.
Sunny Gault: Really?
Tina Erwin: Yeah.
Sunny Gault: It must be our community, like the people that listen to the show, most people, I find that they don’t want to know. But it may be more people that actually…, yeah.
Tina Erwin: I actually….., I think it’s kind of fun that they don’t want to know.
Sunny Gault: I think it’s kind of cool too. I think those are very patient people.
Tina Erwin: Yeah. And you know what? I think there’s a lot of pressure from their families because, a lot of times, I always ask the mom if she wants to know. Because I figure if she’s the one carrying the baby, she gets to make the decision.
Sunny Gault: But what do you do if mom wants to know and dad doesn’t or vice versa?
Tina Erwin: If mom wants to know, then we can just, you know, scan together and then I can tell her. But if dad wants to know and mom doesn’t, um umm, I’m not telling.
Sunny Gault: Really?!
Tina Erwin: Because you know what? That’s a hard secret to keep.
Sunny Gault: Well, it’s hard on either side. Yeah.
Tina Erwin: Well, I know, but if I figure like, if you are going to be the one having the baby, you get to choose.
Sunny Gault: You need to know if you want to know.
Tina Erwin: And a lot of times, the parents don’t want to know, but the mom…, grandma wants to know.
Sunny Gault: Yeah!
Tina Erwin: I just…., you know, it’s their secret. It’s their surprise and I don’t want to spoil that for them.
Sunny Gault: You know, I’ve heard people say too…, I had a friend who didn’t want to find out and she felt really weird after her ultra sound because she’s like, “There’s somebody out there, that doesn’t really know me, you know, that just did this procedure, that knows what I’m having and we don’t even know what we are having”.
Tina Erwin: Oh, right, right! I actually…., a radiologist that I work with, with both of his children they had…., because his wife was in a hurry and was having an amnio, but they had said they don’t want to know. Sure enough, that they go to see the doctor to get the results and the doctor says “Oh, okay, you’re having a boy!” And they weren’t disappointed, but they had wanted the surprise.
Sunny Gault: Yeah.
Tina Erwin: So, yeah, and that’s one of the reasons I have…, I tried to be very careful about that. So….
Sunny Gault: Sure. And one of the things that goes along with that. I am curious if you have any personal stories of how people, you know, choose to find out? Because yes, you could just announce it then and there in the room. But are people getting more creative with, you know…., because it…., you know, you are someone that they may not know very well and that’s a very personal thing to find out, right then and there, and they may want to do it…., you know, we hear about these gender prediction parties and gender release parties or whatever, or just wanting to do it with your other family there or do it when you can video tape it, or something like that, because I know you can’t have video equipment in that realm.
Tina Erwin: Right, right. And what we’ve been asked to do on many occasions is to not tell them, but put it on a picture and seal it in an envelope and then maybe the couple will go out to dinner and they’ll open it together.
Misty Davies: Oh, that’s nice.
Tina Erwin: Which is actually really sweet. Yeah, and so we’ll do a picture, a couple little pictures and you know, label it, so it’s very clear and then they have…, they have that moment together. We’ve done that quite a bit.
Misty Davies: Oh, I kind of wish I’d done that!
Sunny Gault: I know, I was going to ask you Misty, so, what happened in your situation, you are having a little girl; how did you find out?
Misty Davies: I…., I just went for my, you know, my ultra sound and I took my sister….,
Sunny Gault: Was it just you or….
Misty Davies: Yeah. My sister was with me….
Sunny Gault: Okay.
Misty Davies: …so, ….he just asked if we wanted to know and I said yes, and yeah…. He told us. And he said he was 90 percent sure. He didn’t want to say he was 100 percent sure.
Tina Erwin: No…, is that right? Yeah. And I hate to do that 90 percent, because….., I mean, that’s….
Misty Davies: It puts that question in your mind.
Tina Erwin: And it’s not a real percentage, really, I mean, we’re just like, “Well, I think…, so let me say…., pretty confident…”, so….
Misty Davies: Yeah.
Tina Erwin: But, I’ve actually had people with cell phones and stuff like that, like if their husband is overseas and we’ve actually had the momma phone in the room when we tell them.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Oh, so it’s something special that you guys can do. Oh, that’s nice.
Tina Erwin: Right, right and we’ve actually done that…., I’ve actually had a couple of times, had surrogates and the mom is somewhere else, and so we’ve done it that way as well. So, it’s like “Do you mind if I put my phone on, so that they can hear the conversation?” and it’s like “Sure!”
Sunny Gault: Oh, well that’s nice. Can I ask why they don’t do…., allow you to typically like shoot video in there? Is it something to do with the equipment?
Tina Erwin: No, it’s not to do with the equipment…, it’s….., first and foremost, it’s a medical procedure. It’s a medical exam and so we like to have that time and we have to do a very detailed study. It’s not just about…, it’s a boy or a girl. And so, having that camera lurking over your shoulder, you can be very easily distracted, and I would hate to miss a problem because of that. And so, I get the whole baby-thing and people want to know and it’s a big deal. A lot of times, they want to have a picture done, you know and you know, laying on the table. And I totally let them do that.
Sunny Gault: Okay.
Tina Erwin: It’s just that whole…., you know, if you think about it: your job, if people held a camera over your shoulder while you did your work every day, It’s like “Whoa!”
Sunny Gault: Well I’m in Media, so I’m used to that!
Tina Erwin: Well, okay yeah!
Sunny Gault: But I perfectly understand.
Tina Erwin: Yeah, but it is a medical procedure and it’s that whole, you know, we need to keep it professional and the distraction level down.
Sunny Gault: Yeah. Sure.
Stephanie Saalfeld: My sonographer had a very…, you know, like strict in the beginning. He was like “Okay, we’re going to look at …., you know, make sure everything is okay first and then we’ll have some fun later”.
Tina Erwin: And that’s exactly the way I do it too. And it’s just like …., you know, at least if it’s just the dad, bring him in the room. But sometimes, people bring nine or 10 people in the room. So we’ll have them sit outside, while we do all our measurements and take all our anatomy skeins, and then we’ll bring them in and we’ll play. So.
Sunny Gault: Yeah.
Tina Erwin: Little kids…, I’ve actually had a …., one time, a mom brought her little one in…., unplugged the machine in the middle of the exam!
Sunny Gault: I was just going to say, I mean, at least when I had my latest one, they said “Only one other adult”, you know and then they did the whole thing about no video equipment and they did eventually let me bring my little toddler in, but my husband had to hold and I was thinking “Why?”, but then I’m like “My little kid goes…., you know, he could go all around this room un-plugging everything.
Tina Erwin: You know why…. And the little ones…. And I totally understand, it’s a family thing but these little ones sometimes they come in the room, it’s dark. And there is somebody who looks like a doctor sitting there…., a lot of times, they just cry. And they don’t see…, they don’t understand the picture, it’s not in color, they are used to seeing color TV and they expect to see a baby and it’s not…, it doesn’t look like that.
Sunny Gault: Yeah.
Tina Erwin: So, they can get a little scared and a little upset, so that’s why we don’t have them in the room, usually. Some come in, fall asleep and then it’s fine! Got to love that!
Sunny Gault: So, Stephanie, what are you planning? Well, I mean, obviously you are going to your appointment later today and hopefully, you will have some good news, but as far as, will you keep that information to yourself? Will you tell people right away?
Stephanie Saalfeld: We were planning to do like a “Gender Reveal” party, but just with the planning, it’s not going to work out. So, I…, I’m kind of second guessing myself now…. I’m wondering if I’ll have them write it down and then…, and then maybe we’ll open it by ourselves later…
Sunny Gault: I like that idea a lot.
Stephanie Saalfeld: We are seeing some family later tonight also, so that will be kind of nice to be able to open it with them. But my father-in-law is the only person who doesn’t want to know. Everybody else really wants to know.
Tina Erwin: Oh wow! That’s going to be hard to keep that secret. Trust me, I know.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Yeah, he just doesn’t to know. And the only reason he doesn’t want to know is because, he…., you know, my husband is 35 years old and he has older siblings, so…, back then, they didn’t know. So, he’s like “Oh, I just don’t want to know! I was always surprised with my kids so I want to be surprised with grand-kids too! So…., but…. You know, he’ll find out…. I know he’ll find out!
All: Of course! People are going to forget he’s in the room or whatever….and before you know it…. Exactly!
Stephanie Saalfeld: So, you know, we’ll see. Yeah, I guess we’ll still have to pick up flowers to decide what we want …
Sunny Gault: I’ve done it both ways. I always wanted to know. I think if maybe…., because I have two boys now. I think, you know, if I got to a point where I had at least one of each gender, I think I might go into a pregnancy going “It doesn’t matter!”
All: That’s how I feel too. Yeah!”
Sunny Gault: You know? But we did something similar to the card thing, because, we live pretty far away from most of our relatives and it was something we wanted. We actually wanted to video tape the reveal and have that for our child someday, to be able to see when mommy and daddy what they were having. We did that with our first and to be really honest, with my second, I was really going for the opposite gender so, I already had a little boy and I thought I really want to have a little girl and we went into it and I thought, we’ll we are going to video tape it because that’s what we do. And then as it got closer and closer, I was getting the feeling of: Well, what if this isn’t a little girl and how I’m I going to feel and do I want that on camera? And so, sometimes your emotions are a little to real to really want to preserve. [Laughs] And so, we didn’t end up doing that and we had ultra sound technician basically, you know, just tell us, as is. And I was so shocked when it happened, because she didn’t tell us what it was; she just started writing the word ‘penis’ on the screen!
Sunny Gault: And I mean, “Are you going to tell me that’s a boy or are you just going to assume I know how to read and then I can read what I’m having?” It was a very…, kind of awkward situation.
Tina Erwin: Yeah, that’s hard to…, sometimes to say. A lot of times, I’m like, “Well, what do you think,” and they are like, “Oh my gosh! It’s….”, you know and they can see it. And a lot of them kind of figure it out for themselves. But if…., you know, sometimes, you can’t tell and it’s a little more difficult, but a lot of times, I have dad standing over my shoulder and they are like…, you can hear him like [sharp intake of breath] and you know, he knows….
All: Yeah, exactly! I’ve seen one of those before….
Sunny Gault: Yeah, oh geez the little kid’s got his hand down there!
Tina Erwin: I remember a dad one time, it was a little boy and you could see he was holding himself and the dad was like “That’s my boy!”
Sunny Gault: Oh, that’s hysterical! That’s really funny. Okay, so when we come back, we are going to talk about some of the old wives tales when it comes to predicting your baby’s gender. And does any of this actually have any medical basis or facts behind it? We’ll be right back.
Sunny Gault: Welcome back, we are talking with Tina Erwin about Gender Prediction and Tina is a sonographer at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and has helped many families figure out their baby’s gender. Tina I want to talk a little about…, I have kind of a growing list here and obviously, there are some wives tales that are just simply ridiculous when it comes to predicting your baby’s gender. But as we go through these, if there is any actual signs that you know of, or anything that support these, let’s chat about that. Because I feel like these have to come from somewhere, maybe not. We’ll see. So first of all, the rate of a baby’s heart beat: And I remember asking my OB this, because one appointment I went into, the baby’s heart beat was significantly higher, and I’m like, “Does that mean I’m having a little girl?” [Laughs] She was like, “No, Sunny that really has nothing to do with this!”. So, do you have any information or knowledge about heartbeats and how….
Tina Erwin: You know what? Actually, kind of a funny story that I have to tell you about my sister, but yeah, she had done a research to prove or disprove of that theory and it was a 50-50 rate of being right. So, it’s just basically just a guess.
Sunny Gault: Yeah, it’s just a guess.
Tina Erwin: Now when my sister was pregnant with her first child, her doctor kept saying: “Sounds like a boy, sounds like a boy, sounds like a boy!” She actually came in as my patient, so I got to scan her while she was pregnant, actually with both of her children and she, in her mind, was convinced that it was a boy, and it was not a boy! I’m like “No, it’s girl! Looks like a girl!” and she goes, “Well, you know my doctor said….”, and I’m like “No…., I can clearly see it’s a girl.” And she was like ….., and so I went out and bought her dresses and little girly clothes and she was like “Well, you know, might have to take them back,”
Sunny Gault: Right!
Tina Erwin: She just did not want to believe me. And I’m like “Thanks a lot!” and sure enough it’s a girl! And you know, the second time around with her second child, she actually believed me. But you know, she was so convinced. She’s one of those people that her doctor’s absolutely right. The doctor was kidding and teasing…., but she took it very seriously. So, I still give her a bad time about that 19 years later.
Sunny Gault: Have you guys heard about this whole heartbeat thing? And what are your thoughts on it?
Misty Davies: Yeah. I have and I, you know, I kind of …., I think the…., one of the first times, it was like in the 160s and then the next time it was at 158 and I actually have a home doctor that I know of and I know those numbers aren’t exactly right but it’s always like somewhere in the 150s. Yeah, I’ve heard that if it’s around 160 or higher, then it’s a girl and lower is a boy. But I know that it ranges.
Tina Erwin: No, it does range. Above 150 is normally what we see, you know, 150 – 160 anywhere in those ranges, but it absolutely not, nothing to do with gender prediction.
Sunny Gault: You know, the one I hear all the time and my mom drives me crazy with this. She feels like she can look at a pregnant woman and by the way you are carrying the baby, determine if you are having a boy or a girl. She is 100 percent convinced and she does have about, you know, I don’t know, 75 percent or higher rate of success in doing this, so you know, she pats herself on the back all the time, but…, is there anything behind that? Like, you hear…., actually, I’ve heard both. I’ve heard, you know, if you have a cute little bump in front and nothing in the back, it’s a girls, I’ve heard that “No, that means it’s a boy!” So everything out there is kind of, you know, conflicting information.
Tina Erwin: Well, I think you know, you carry a certain way with your first child, and so, you know what you had, so if you carry your second child differently, well your body is different after the first pregnancy. You know, everything is a little looser, so you’re going to start showing a little bit sooner and carry a little bit differently. I know a lot of people believe that but do I think that’s….., you know? No.
Sunny Gault: So when a patient comes in and you are about to do an ultra sound on them and they are all belly and nothing else, you don’t automatically think that’s a girl.
Tina Erwin: No, absolutely not. No!
Sunny Gault: Alright. So severity of morning sickness or nausea and I heard this because…, because of the additional estrogen. This is the rumor, at least it’s going around. We are going to determine if this is fact or fiction, but, because there is extra estrogen that could make you sick and therefore increase the nausea.
Tina Erwin: Yeah. And I’ve heard that one too, but I don’t…., again, I don’t think that that makes a difference.
Sunny Gault: Yeah. But some of these sound so real.
Tina Erwin: I know they do. And sometimes it’s just the moms. I know my mother-in-law gave birth 6 times. And the first 3 she had horrible morning sickness. She took a little break, had 3 more kids…., nothing! And she had boys and girls both times.
Sunny Gault: And we always hear that every pregnancy is different and I think that that’s kind of what we have to chalk all of this up to.
Tina Erwin: Yeah.
Sunny Gault: What you had with your first does not mean it’s the same with your second.
Tina Erwin: It’s somebody’s experience and so, you know, and that’s what they had, so…., they kind of you know…., I can see how that got started.
Sunny Gault: Right. And I heard too, you know, if your pregnancies are very different from one another, that my mean that you are having the opposite gender. And I will just tell you, I had two completely different pregnancies and the same gender! So I want to nip that in the bud too! I mean, maybe by happenstance, maybe that may happen sometimes, but again, but again, it’s a 50-50 thing, it’s like well maybe, maybe not. You know?
Tina Erwin: Right, right. Yeah, yeah.
Sunny Gault: Okay, so some of these sound a little crazy, like growth of leg hair, acne during pregnancy, anything you know, having to do with how your body’s changing. I guess that’s all kind of the same thing as the way you carry your baby…..
Tina Erwin: Yeah. And then another one that I’ve heard is that women that have a lot of heart burn that that ‘s a girl. I’ve heard that one before. There’s the string test.
Sunny Gault: Yeah! There’s something …., did you hear that too?
Tina Erwin: There’s a string test and some people say, you know, putting like, like Comet or Ajax in their urine, if it turns green or blue, you know, like….,
Misty: That’s sounds dangerous. I don’t want to do chemistry!
Tina Erwin: No, and I don’t recommend it. But I’ve patients that, you know and these stories that I hear, so…
Sunny Gault: What is the…., you know, we were talking about the Ring Test. So I think, for our listeners out there who are like “What are they talking about?” Would you guys know this?... You did it? Okay, what did you do?
Stephanie Saalfeld: Yeah. Okay. So, I just put, you know, my wedding band on a chain, and then you just hold it…., I tried both the different ways that they said to do it. They said you could do it over your left hand or you can do it over your belly. And, so I tried it both ways, got the same result both times, but…. So you just hold it really still and then it starts moving. So, I don’t know what makes it start moving, it feels a little Ouija board-like….,
Stephanie Saalfeld: ….but ….., yeah, I guess if it swings back and forth, it’s a boy and if it goes in a circle, it’s a girl. So, it swung back and forth both times!
Stephanie Saalfeld: So, I don’t know! But, yeah, my husband came home as I was doing it and was like “What are you doing?!”
Sunny Gault: Do you guys find that your husbands are more interested or less interested in Gender Prediction and finding out what you guys are having?
Stephanie Saalfeld: My husband didn’t really want to know.
Sunny Gault: Oh, he didn’t.
Stephanie Saalfeld: No, no, I just…, I told him I can’t, I can’t keep a secret, I have to know.
Sunny Gault: Right.
Misty: My husband wants to know. Definitely wants to know. But you know, I’ve…., although I have been telling him “Well, I don’t know, I feel like it’s a girl, but we really want to a boy!”, and he’s like, “Well, I’ve always wanted a boy first, so, I’m going to hope it’s a boy!”. And then, you know, but neither of us is going to be disappointed, it’s just, yeah, he wants to know.
Sunny Gault: Yeah. Now would you guy do any of those home-gender tests? I guess there are some available. Actually, I’ve seen them in the pharmacy, and I always look at them and I almost…, my personal view is like, if you want to do it for fun, you know, just to kind of see , I don’t see any harm in it. But would you guys ever do that, just for fun? Like, even in the beginning, very beginning of your pregnancy?
Stephanie Saalfeld: Again, it’s 50-50, if you want to do it just like any of these things really, but it would only be for fun.
Sunny Gault: Right. But those are expensive. You know?
Stephanie Saalfeld: Well, if they are expensive, then I wouldn’t!
Sunny Gault: Then you can just wait right? Well, I was always concerned that if I did that, I…, you know, I would say it was just for fun, but it would be like….., like “I really think it’s this and then I could be disappointed, you know, when the actual thing is done. So… Alright, well, that’s good information. Thank you ladies! Have you guys heard any other crazy things. Like I know we…., the Chinese Gender…,
Stephanie Saalfeld: The Chinese calendar. Yeah.
Sunny Gault: What is the Chinese calendar? But you said you thought that was accurate.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Well, I’ve heard that it’s 80 percent accurate. I don’t know where they get their 80 percent….
Sunny Gault: I would love to know where they get the 80 percent.
Stephanie Saalfeld: I know, but I…., I actually, I asked my mom and I asked a couple of other people that it was actually accurate for. So, it’s based on your…., the mother’s age at conception and the month of conception. So..
Sunny Gault: This almost sounds like astrology to me though. You are born this time, then you know…, you are adventurerous.
Stephanie Saalfeld: Right,
Sunny Gault: And you are like, “What, really…..?”
Misty Davies: But you know some of that stuff though…..
Sunny Gault: Is there anything else you guys have tried? That you will admit to…..
Misty Davies: I haven’t tried anything, but there was a lady that I work with that was looking at my neck and she said something about the lines on your neck. If it’s a dark line, then I think it’s a boy….
Stephanie Saalfeld: Whaaaat?! Wow!
Misty Davies: And if you don’t really see a line then. It’s a girl and she said that her mother was always right. That her mother did this all the time. She was always right. I mean, she tried it with me and she was wrong.
Stephanie Saalfeld: ….has a dark line.
Sunny Gault: Okay, is this like a version of a palm reading? I feel like we are in way of the gypsies, you guys! ….make this stuff out!
Misty Davies: But I’d never heard that one before.
Sunny Gault: No. Well it’s all you know, it will continue to be a question that you know, we’ll always ask ourselves. We always want to know our baby’s gender, even if we do wait until the “big reveal” when our baby is born. So thank you guys for sharing your thoughts and opinions and Tina for joining us today.
Tina Erwin: Thank you.
Sunny Gault: And we loved getting the medical side of things, you know, from the ultra sound perspective. I think that that was really good. So again, thank you so much.
Tina Erwin: Thank you so much.
Sunny Gault: Well, if we are going to continue our conversation about baby gender online, how did you learn about your baby’s gender? Simply post your story to our Facebook page and we’ll share your experiences on an up-coming episode, or you can share your stories through Twitter using the hash tag #newmommymedia.
[Featured Segments: Prenatal Fitness Tips - How can exercise prepare you for labor and delivery?]
Sunny Gault: Before we wrap things up, here are some Prenatal Fitness Tips.
Lisa Druxman: Hi Preggie Pals, fitness expert and chief founding mom of Stroller Strides, a fitness program for moms and their babies. I’m here to answer some of your most common questions when it comes to exercise and pregnancy and today, I’m going to give you some good ideas to improve labor and deliver. Now there are some mixed reports on the effects of exercise during pregnancy and on the course of outcome of your labor and delivery. Some studies honestly have shown that it has no effect, yet others show that exercise has shorter labor and less painful labors and to me that sounds like a pretty good incentive. Overall, I’m going to tell you that the best thing that you can do for a better labor is going to be just to exercise consistently throughout your pregnancy to make sure you are getting cardio-vascular training, make sure you are getting strength training, but also think about: What are some of the positions you are going to be in during pregnancy. I want to see you doing a lot of squats so that your legs don’t fatigue during pregnancy and thinking about hip-opening exercises, so a plie squat and actually mimicking some of the positions you will be in. I hope during labor that you are actually not going to be on your back and you are going to be in a lot of standing positions. It will definitely, definitely help you getting ready. The other thing is that you can work your abdominals during pregnancy, you just can do a lot of exercises laying on your back. So whether you are doing abdominal bracing or some standing core exercises, the stronger your abs are, the easier it’s going to be to move that baby down and certainly, it’s important to be kegeling throughout your pregnancy, and honestly, you should be kegeling everyday for the rest of your life, even after your baby is born. Those strong pelvic floor muscles will help you get the baby out, but it’s also controlling your body so you know how to relax your pelvic floor and it will help you greatly. So overall, I want to see you exercising throughout your pregnancy, focusing on core strength, focusing on some hip-openers and again, your pelvic floor and I do hope you have a wonderful fit pregnancy. Do visit http://www.strollerstrides.com for more great information on how to stay fit through pregnancy and parenthood and be sure to listen to Preggie Pals for more great prenatal fitness tips.
Sunny Gault: That wraps up our show today. If you have any questions regarding today’s topic or any pregnancy related question, you can ask our experts. Simply send us an email or call our Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll answer your question on an up-coming episode. If you have a pregnancy topic you would like to suggest, we would love to hear it. Visit our website at http://www.preggiepals.com and send us an email. Thanks for listening to Preggie Pals, your pregnancy your way.
This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
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