"Boys" fetal heartbeat

(41 Posts)
Bunnylion Fri 19-Apr-13 20:22:40

I'm pregnant and have a fetal doppler to listen to my babys heartbeat.

I've let a few family and friends listens and no less than 7 people (including my midwife) have told me that my baby's heartbeat sounds "so strong that it must be a boy".

When I had terrible morning sickness early on I was frequently told that I must be having a girl because "boys don't make you feel sick".

So a female fetus is poisonous to a pregnant woman and male ones are noticeably strong?

Why in 2013 do people still spout such nonsense? I'm pregnant and hormonal but it really pisses me off.

NiceTabard Fri 19-Apr-13 20:26:32

Oh dear.

When you put it like that it's terrible isn't it.

Both of my babies were identified as boys when I was in labour (thanks midwife - so we say "no" at the scans so as to get a surprise only for someone to tell us in a confident professional tone anyway???? WTF??????????)

Anyway they were wrong both times. They didn't however say for what reason the heartbeat was a boys.

It's bollocks isn't it.

SanityClause Fri 19-Apr-13 20:37:02

There are physiological differences between males and females (well duh!) and men, on average, have lower heartbeats that women. So a midwife can take an educated guess about the sex from the heartbeat.

The morning sickness thing is a myth, though.

LynetteScavo Fri 19-Apr-13 20:49:44

I've never heard anyone say boys don't make you feel sick. confused

Bunnylion Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:50

Nicetabard I guess being right 50% of the time is enough for some people to continue a myth!

Sanityclause I know there are physiological differences but I don't think the strength or size of a male foetus and a female foetus is any different. The heartbeat sexing is also a myth.

SanityClause Fri 19-Apr-13 20:59:45

It's not entirely a myth. It's not hugely accurate, but as I said, an experienced midwife can have a pretty good guess whether it's a make or female. But you wouldn't want to bet more than a fiver on it. wink

tribpot Fri 19-Apr-13 21:01:34

yes, I thought the myth was that boys gave you worse morning sickness, along with heartburn meaning the baby has lots of hair. Etc etc.

But a heartbeat 'so strong it must be a boy' is really bloody annoying.

GizzaCwtch Fri 19-Apr-13 21:04:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Fri 19-Apr-13 21:05:40

I know, why not a heartbeat 'so emotionally intelligent it must be a girl' grin

namechangeguy Fri 19-Apr-13 21:06:02

If I was hearing that from a friend/relative I might ignore it. But I think if I heard it from a medical professional I might ask what he/she was basing their statement on, rather than just getting pissy about it. Perhaps there is a scientific reason, as Sanity suggests. Why does it have to be immediately offensive?

Twit Fri 19-Apr-13 21:10:21

I had HG when pregnant with ds1 & 2. None with dd.

awkwardsis Fri 19-Apr-13 21:10:40

Is this really a feminist issue? Really!? Fwiw, both myths were true for me. Heartbeats for both were as per the old wives takes and dd made me sick as a dog, to the extent that with both subsequent pregnancies I 'knew' they were boys as I felt fine. But honestly, you're being silly to even get her up about this.

HarderToKidnap Fri 19-Apr-13 21:10:41

Gizza, a mIdwife absolutely CANNOT under any circumstances tell the difference between male and female feotuses from the heart rate. That is bunkum.

SanityClause Fri 19-Apr-13 21:11:23

Now that's annoying, Yohed. Males may have slightly lower heartbeats than females, but are just as capable of emotional intelligence.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 19-Apr-13 21:16:48

It is abject bollocks. Heartrate may, on average, be lower in a male, but there is so much variability within both genders that it tells you nothing. DD1 was 'ooh, could well be a boy' too.

Never sick, two DD's.

And it is important to get 'het up' about this crap because it is gender stereotyping before birth, which is reductive and confining to all our children, or whatever gender.

awkwardsis Fri 19-Apr-13 21:18:56

Gender stereotyping? Bollocks. Honestly. It's anecdotal snippets of chit chat. You're a pregnant woman, people fall over themselves to tell you this stuff grin just smile and nod if it offends you so much

CognitiveOverload Fri 19-Apr-13 21:22:04

I really think linking these comments with gender stereotyping is tenuous at best.

badguider Fri 19-Apr-13 21:25:59

OP - I know what you mean and I agree, I am pregnant too and if i hear one more 'strong kicks' must be a boy or 'strong heartbeat' must be a boy I will scream.

Why can't a female fetus be as strong as a male one? there's no difference in strenth and size between boys and girls until puberty.... and even then I am a hell of a lot stronger than some adult males despite my sex and I know a lot of women much stronger than me.

GizzaCwtch Fri 19-Apr-13 21:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GizzaCwtch Fri 19-Apr-13 21:30:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SplitHeadGirl Fri 19-Apr-13 21:32:04

The strongest person I ever met was a woman...she used to beat EVERYONE at arm wrestling!!! And I am curently 39 weeks pregnant and getting battered by my baby whom I know to be a girl (well...was told at the scan). She is one strong baby - it was never like this with my son!!

badguider Fri 19-Apr-13 21:33:10

guessing at the sex of the baby is fine... guessing on the basis of "if it's all gentle and fluffy and weak it's a girl" and "if it's robust and active and strong it's a boy" IS gender stereotyping.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Fri 19-Apr-13 21:35:20

Thank you badguider, exactly.

NiceTabard Fri 19-Apr-13 21:40:16


Well not to take away from the lovely pregnant OP who I'm not surprised is getting narked at so many people spouting such stupid stuff

But still

Why do midwives feel the need to tell you the sex of the baby in a "this is a fact" way based on the heartbeat when a. is the difference in heartbeat in a foetus really that different that it can be differentiated and b. without askig whether the parents want to know the sex - when many want to wait and for the midwife to make a pronouncement when you're on the final stretch is surely just taking the piss. Especially when it turned out they were wrong both times anyway <eyeroll>

abbyfromoz Fri 19-Apr-13 22:17:18

Nonsense! I found out the sex by scan (confirmed 3 times was having a girl) and STILL had friends and total strangers tell me i was having a boy due to the shape of my tummy...eeeerr so like..does that mean a penis makes your belly go more oblong? LOL.. Btw..i had a girl wink

abbyfromoz Fri 19-Apr-13 22:17:55

Oh btw my sis had HG with both her boys!

Valpollicella Fri 19-Apr-13 22:19:35

Re the sickeness thing. My lovely friend has just had a boy and was absolutely floored (literally) by sickness. She couldn't cook for her elder child as even opening a pack of fish fingers made her hurl.

Myth - busted wink

sashh Sat 20-Apr-13 03:00:23

There are physiological differences between males and females (well duh!) and men, on average, have lower heartbeats that women. So a midwife can take an educated guess about the sex from the heartbeat.

Absolute bollox

Babies are born with a heart rate of 200 ish and as they grow the heart rate slows down.

The bigger you get the slower it goes. If you do a lot of exercise (marathon runners) then it will slow further.

Because, in general, men are bigger than women they generally have a lower base rate.

GoblinGranny Sat 20-Apr-13 07:20:05

Well, it should be easy enough to collect data on, there's probably a thesis in it somewhere.
I threw up horribly with both of mine for 9 months. One boy, one girl.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 07:27:45

My poor friend had a very early baby...and the midwife said thank God it's a girl...they're better at surviving. She was really upset by that comment.

kickassangel Sat 20-Apr-13 13:14:57

Dd had a higher heart beat and I was told that prob meant I was having a boy.

So, yes, it IS annoying that even before a child is born they are being pigeon holed on so called scientific facts

MaryRobinson Sat 20-Apr-13 14:45:05

I think there is some evidence that girls give worse morning sickness. Certainly, women who are hospitalised with HG are more likely to have a girl.

Bunnylion Sat 20-Apr-13 15:55:13

maryrobinson but my point is that these things are often presented as fact, just like your comment "certainly women who are hospitalised with HG are more likely to have a girl" but I've never seen any actual scientific evidence to back any of it up.

When there is an explanation, it's always a vague pseudo-science explanation like boys producing testosterone so kicking harder than girls and having stronger hearts, girls producing progesterone and so making you more sick or have worse skin problems. But these are all huge jumps of presumption because a fetus isn't sexually mature so it doesn't produce any amount of hormone that would make one pregnancy any different from the other.

Being pregnant at the moment, I've noticed a lot of wishywashy pseudo-science 'facts' that seems to be freely repeated by many with no one really caring if there is any science behind it. So often they are based on gender stereotyping and that bugs me.

But please link some researched evidence, if I'm wrong and, if it exists online anywhere!

TeiTetua Sat 20-Apr-13 16:28:45

What is it about pregnancy that makes it so irresistible for a lot of people to pass old wives' tales around? (Regardless of age and marital status of the ones doing it.) Because it seems as though there's a powerful urge to say stupid things when a woman's pregnant.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sat 20-Apr-13 17:14:01

Bunnylion - Not feminist from the perspective of the fetus, but I always think the pseudo-science behind a lot of the eating guidelines is a good example of that type of stuff. And I think the controlling of women in that was is a feminist issue - as it seems to be intentionally so hard to access the scientific information to make an informed decision for yourself.

sashh Sun 21-Apr-13 02:45:28

Because it seems as though there's a powerful urge to say stupid things when a woman's pregnant.

Apparently when I was born I had hairy ears.

In the maternity hospital mums discussing old wives tales my mum said, well I was scared by a mouse and nothing happened. Other mum - but your baby was born with hairy ears (mice don't BTW) and I'm sure that has morphed into some baby being born with a mouse's head.

thank God it's a girl...they're better at surviving. She was really upset by that comment.

That's one that I thought was true.

I have now looked at the ONS report (do not read if pregnant) and it's not one of the criteria used, but - and this makes no sense to me, socio economic grouping is by father's occupation at birth!

CheerfulYank Sun 21-Apr-13 03:13:43

Girls born very early do have a slightly higher chance at survival.

Both myths (faster heartbeat and morning sickness) were true for this one...I'm having a DD next month. smile

ShadowStorm Sun 21-Apr-13 23:43:51

I thought that the one about premature girls having a better chance at survival than premature boys was true as well.

But I'm very skeptical about whether things like foetal heartrate and amount of morning sickness can really tell you what gender the baby is.

I was very sick all through my pregnancy with my son, almost incapacitated by it for a few months. I also suffered severe rashes and all-over itching later on, and I was told - don't know if it's true or not - that it's a reaction to the testosterone from the male foetus.

MaryRobinson Mon 22-Apr-13 09:43:20
AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Mon 22-Apr-13 12:45:21

But if it is 56:44 then, whilst that is an interesting skew on a population basis, it still means that, of 20 babies born to women with HG, 11 will be girls and 9 boys. That is nowhere near the level of difference that suggests it really means anything for you on a personal level, as a sample of one. It's a minor difference which, yes, might be interesting to scientists still trying to discover the underlying causes of sickness and HG. It's most definitely not 'boys don't make you sick' or 'you are so sick you must be having a girl'.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now