How to determine baby gender from the heart rate

Written by erin carson
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While numerous studies, including a 1993 one led by sonographer Terry J. Dubose, have firmly debunked the mythical correlation between gender and heart rate, many doctors, midwives and mothers continue to swear by this method of determining the sex of an unborn baby. Even without scientific proof of efficacy, using the heart rate to determine the baby's gender can be a fun and harmless diversion during pregnancy. Evaluate your pregnancy symptoms, and prepare to combine them with the heart rate to determine whether you will soon give birth to a boy or girl.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fetal Doppler

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  1. 1

    Listen to your baby's heartbeat with a fetal Doppler. Fetal Dopplers, a non-invasive diagnostic tool, help measure the heartbeat by emitting sound waves and monitoring any changes in pitch or frequency. Your baby's heartbeat can generally not be heard using a Doppler until nine to 10 weeks' gestation at the earliest, more typically at 12 weeks.

  2. 2

    Calculate your baby's heart rate. While some Dopplers automatically display the heart rate, others require you to find it yourself. Listen to the heartbeat for 10 seconds and then multiply the beats by six to determine the number of beats per minute.

  3. 3

    Compare your baby's heart rate to those commonly used in old wives' tales to determine gender. According to, many people believe a heart rate of 140bpm or over indicates a girl while a heart rate under 140bpm means you will give birth to a boy.

  4. 4

    Combine the heart rate with other aspects of your pregnancy to help determine your odds of carrying a specific gender. If you carry the baby low and in front, crave salty foods and don't experience morning sickness; you are carrying a boy. Women who love sweets during pregnancy, carry high, suffer from acne and feel sick frequently will give birth to a girl.

Tips and warnings

  • You can rent a Doppler for home use, but doctors will typically determine your baby's heartbeat during exams starting at 10 to 12 weeks.
  • The heart rate starts out very fast, averaging 180bpm and settles into the range of 120 to 160 at 12 weeks. Most women will find that, regardless of the gender, the heart rate slows considerably as the baby matures and varies depending on whether the baby is sleeping or active.
  • While this method of determining gender isn't dangerous, steer clear of any methods that encourage you to eat or inhale things you suspect might harm the baby, or to do anything that contradicts any of your doctor's medical advice.

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