Mom's Diet May Influence Baby's Gender
May 13, 2008
What a woman eats before pregnancy may play a role in whether the baby is a boy or a girl, according to surprising new research.
Women who have a hearty appetite, eat a lot of potassium-rich foods like bananas, and don’t skip breakfast appear more likely to have a boy. Previous studies have also shown that male embryos do best with longer exposure to nutrient-rich lab cultures.
It could be that more nutrients are needed to build boys than girls. Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week, a possible sign that they were skipping breakfast.
Among women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy (but still within a normal, healthy range), 56 percent had boys, versus 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake. Women who had boys also ate an additional 300 mg of potassium daily on average, and about 400 calories more daily, compared to women who had girls.
The research involved about 700 first-time pregnant women, and has been billed as the first to show a link between a woman’s diet and the gender of her offspring. The women were asked about their eating habits in the year before getting pregnant.