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Next to learning that you are expecting, finding out whether you’re having a boy or a girl is one of the best surprises. Waiting to find out, however, can seem like it drags on forever. If you’re waiting until birth to find out the gender of your baby, the Chinese gender chart may be a fun way to pass the time. Even if you only have to wait a few weeks until a genetic test or an ultrasound lets you know the gender, the Chinese gender chart is believed to carry a little more weight than some of the old wives. Wives tales such as the position of your belly and the swinging a ring above your belly have been put into the novelty category. Here’s everything you need to know about the ancient Chinese gender predictor and how accurate it really is.

History of the Chinese gender chart

The Chinese gender chart is believed to be an ancient secret that is able to tell you the gender of your baby before it’s born. The 300-year-old chart is thought to be based on the I Ching which is the “Book of Changes.” This relies on the Five Elements, Yin and Yang and the Eight Trigrams. According to legend, the chart was counted on by the Qing Dynasty to select sons who were favored to provide for their families. These boys were to be given money and work and to carry on the family lineage. Another theory is that the Chinese gender predictor was actually kept in an ancient royal tomb where it was eventually discovered. The history of its origins hasn’t been scientifically proven.

How accurate is the Chinese gender chart?

Since the origins of the chart aren’t certain, it’s hard to claim 100% accuracy. You can always confidently say, your chances are 50/50. Being that you could usually always say you may have a boy or a girl, 50/50 is about as safe of a bet as any. While some people swear this chart is always accurate for them, you’ll find other parents who had a boy when the chart predicted a girl or the other way around. Essentially, this chart is just for fun but there’s no harm in playing around with it and seeing how accurate it ends up being for you.

How is a baby’s gender scientifically determined?

While wives tales and ancient charts are a fun way to guess your baby’s gender, scientifically, there’s a process that takes place behind the scenes that are the only way we can know for certain. According to the World Health Organization, humans are born with 23 pairs of chromosomes or 46 total. Most men are 46XY and most women are 46XX. During the reproductive process, the male will determine the gender of the baby. During sex, a male’s sperm will either be carrying an X or a Y chromosome. If an X combines with the mother’s X, you’ll have a baby girl. If the sperm is carrying a Y, when it’s combined with the mother’s X, you’ll have an XY which means a baby boy.

How does the Chinese gender chart work?

If you are still wondering what the Chinese gender chart will predict for your little one’s gender, the predictor is easy to use and could be a fun way to pass the time. Maybe this ancient practice will predict whether or not you’ll be adding a little boy or a little girl to your family. To start, you look at the month of conception. You then look at the mother’s age at the time of conception. You follow the chart on those two lines to reveal if you’ll be having a boy or a girl. Play around with it and this lunar calendar maybe just guess right for your family.

How your doctor can determine the gender

If you aren’t convinced that a 50/50 chance of accuracy is enough for you, there are ways your doctor can tell you for certain. The most common way to find out is during a mid-term ultrasound between weeks 18 and 22 of your pregnancy. If your baby is in a position where you can’t see their reproductive organs on the screen you may have to come back a second time once the baby has changed positions. Another way you may find out gender is by having non-invasive prenatal testing done. This blood test is typically done around the 10th week of pregnancy. While the test is used to detect Down’s syndrome or other forms of chromosomal abnormalities, it can also test the fetal DNA in your blood. If a Y chromosome is found, we know that it isn’t the mother’s so that will indicate she is carrying a baby boy. Other genetic testing or amniocentesis can also reveal the baby’s gender if your doctor performs them on you for any reason during your pregnancy.

In terms of accuracy, ultrasounds performed between weeks 18 and week 22 are considered very accurate. Genetic testing through blood work or amniocentesis is completely accurate. Having twins or multiple babies can sometimes make it difficult to determine the gender of each baby. During an ultrasound, one sibling may be hiding another making it hard to see their genital area. After one or two more ultrasounds however, you should be able to see each baby before birth if you chose to. Whether you go the scientific route with an ultrasound or blood test or you decide to refer to ancient Chinese practices, enjoy the new addition to your family.