All over the world, couples expecting a child are asking the same question. What is the sex of our baby? While many will find out in a prenatal ultrasound or wait to be surprised at the birth, still others depend on old wives’ tales and superstitions to guess at the gender of their new baby. The Chinese Pregnancy calendar is just one tool in the quest to find out whether to paint the nursery pink or blue.
The Chinese pregnancy calendar is rumored to have been in existence for over 700 years, when it was discovered in a tomb of Chinese royalty by a local scientist. For centuries, women have used this chart to help them determine the sex of their unborn baby.
The chart, which calculates the sex of the baby to be using data from the date of conception and the mother’s age, is said to be over 99% accurate. Many women swear by the Chinese pregnancy calendar, and some even time their conception to coincide with the chart’s predictions.
How it Works
The Chinese pregnancy chart is set up as a grid, with the month of conception on the left column and the age of the mother in a row across the top. To determine the anticipated gender of the child, simply match up the month of conception to the age of the mother (at the time of conception, not at the time of the birth of the child) and the calendar will predict whether your child will be a boy or a girl. The calendar predicts the gender of babies born to mothers from the age of 18 to the age of 45 for the entire year.
While most people use the Chinese pregnancy calendar strictly for entertainment purposes, there are some that use it as a tool for family planning. In cultures where one gender of child is more desired over the other, many couples painstakingly time their reproductive activities to correspond with the predictions of the calendar. In Chinese culture, where parents were restricted to two children per family, accurately selecting the gender of the offspring was extremely important.
There are obviously some problems with the Chinese pregnancy calendar. It has no way of accurately predicting the gender of twins or other multiple births, for example. In addition, some women have reported inaccuracies when there is more than one pregnancy in one calendar year. Experts say that the only way to predict the gender of a baby accurately before birth is through amniocentesis, a procedure that extracts and tests the mother’s amniotic fluid in the latter stages of pregnancy. This is usually done to test for genetic abnormalities, but is also an accurate predictor of gender.
In addition to the Chinese pregnancy calendar, many mothers expecting the first child depend on old wives’ tales and superstition to guess the sex of their child. One tales cautions that a baby who “steals the mother’s looks” is a girl. Yet another foretells a woman who is carrying her weight low down on her abdomen is carrying a boy. Most doctors agree that the degree to which a woman’s body carries the baby is due more to muscle tone and build than to gender. If you are craving sweets, you are most likely carrying a girl, goes another. Salty snack cravings mean a boy.
However, you guess your baby’s gender, whether it is through ultrasound, old wives tales or the Chinese pregnancy chart, one thing is for certain. There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind when the doctor delivers your healthy, screaming baby and announces, what gender it is.