One of the first things expectant parents want to know is if their baby is healthy. The second greatest concern of many is whether the developing child is a baby girl or a boy. There are plenty of myths and tales surrounding the gender of your child including the level of morning sickness, how lustrous or dull your hair is and the strength of your nails. But the only way to determine the sex of your baby is through an ultrasound. And even then, getting a fetus sonogram doesn't mean you'll be able to figure out the gender of your child.
Gender Determination With Ultrasounds
To figure out if you're having a baby girl or a boy, you need to have a clear sonogram of your child. A sonogram is the actual picture that is produced when you have an ultrasound done. Although the terms are used interchangeably, they're actually different. The sonogram is a picture and the ultrasound is the process of getting that picture. In order to get a clear picture, your developing baby needs to be large enough and also needs to be in the correct position.
Technicians look for a penis and scrotum in a boy and labia for a girl. If the technician can clearly see the three lines of the labia on the fetus, then you know you're going to have a baby girl and you can start thinking about baby girl names. Simply not seeing a penis doesn't necessarily mean you're having a girl, so it's important for the sonographer or ultrasound technician to actually see the labia for an accurate gender determination.
Besides the position of the baby, the thickness of the abdominal wall and the position of the placenta can affect the clarity of the image you're able to get from your ultrasound. It's more difficult to get a clear image if the abdominal wall is very thick. If the placenta is positioned in the front, it provides another layer for the ultrasound frequencies to go through which can also make it difficult to see details like gender.
Most technicians are able to determine the gender of the baby by about 20 weeks, but these conditions can make it hard to figure out if you're having a baby girl as late as 28 weeks. Yet in other cases, gender determination can be done as early as 11 or 12 weeks.
The Accuracy of Ultrasound Fetal Gender Determination
Fetal gender determination by ultrasound tends to be very accurate. By 20 weeks the accuracy is typically around 95 percent to as high as 100 percent. But the accuracy also depends on the level of skill of the ultrasound technician and the view he or she has of your baby's developing private parts (perineum). Very few technicians will promise 100 percent accuracy when letting you know the fetus gender so if you're told you're having a girl you may want to consider a few baby names that can be used for boys as well.
Determining the sex of your baby with an ultrasound is never done by the development of the fetus. There are no definitive medical studies that say there are any developmental differences in fetuses between the genders. Neither is there any difference in behavior. So the technician will not be able to tell you the sex of your baby based on the size or how the fetus moves if he or she can't get a good look at the private parts. There have been some suggestions that a higher heart rate is the sign of a baby girl. But even this isn't the case all the time.
Getting Baby's Room Ready
Regardless of the gender you're having, there are plenty of beautiful baby bedding choices available for both girls and boys. Girl's baby bedding tends to be more pastel pink colors with plenty of white accents. There are also more vibrant designs in bedding for girl infants with fuchsia and dark browns that can give a more grown-up feel to a room.