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Want to Know the Baby's Sex? Check the Pregnant Mother's Breasts

Update Date: Mar 06, 2013 01:45 PM EST

There are plenty of old wives' tales that surround the sex of the baby. Even in the age of scientific certainty, many women still instruct pregnant mothers-to-be to check the way that their bump sits. If the mom's belly sits high and tight, that is supposed to foretell the birth of a boy. If the belly is low and wide, that should reveal the baby is a girl.

However, science journalist Jena Pincott says that people are looking in the wrong place. According to the Daily Mail, Ms. Pincott says in her book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? that the breast size of moms-to-be can reveal the gender of the baby.

She says that women carrying girls tend to develop larger breasts during pregnancy. The breasts of women carrying girls increase an average of 3.2 inches, or 8 centimeters. Meanwhile, women carrying boys see their breasts increase by only 2.5 inches, or 6.3 centimeters. According to Pincott, the difference lies in the hormones of the baby. Because male fetuses carry and create testosterone, the hormone lowers the amount of growth that women's breasts have during pregnancy.

LiveScience reports that the gender of a baby is determined by the father. Women always provide an X chromosome for their children. Men, on the other hand, provide either an X chromosome or Y chromosome. The Y chromosome provides a boy, while the second X chromosome leads to a girl. Internationally, there are 107 boys conceived for every 100 girls.

The most accurate way to predict the baby's gender is amniocentesis, which is 100 percent accurate but carries a small risk of miscarriage. Recent studies have found that a blood test conducted after seven weeks of pregnancy are able to properly determine the baby's gender between 95 and 98 percent of the time.

Pincott's book also puts forward a number of different trends in pregnancy. For example, mothers who love chocolate and ate the sweet daily during pregnancy tended to have babies who were more outgoing, more easily soothed and less fearful than mothers who indulged less often. Her book also reveals that, while daughters inherit an equal amount of genes from both of their parents, sons inherit proportionately more genes from the mother - meaning that they are more their mother's son than their father's.

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