Baby Diet

Reporter: Lynda Kinkade

 

Since the dawn of time couples have desired babies of a certain gender. Witch doctors, Chinese Luna calendars, even astrologists have been employed to help the process.

Using IVF in gender selection is banned in Australia, so many resort to natural methods.

"Sometimes they've already got three girls and they want a boy or vice versa. Where there is a really strong religious reason we have to be very confident that if the other gender arrives they are going to be treated well and loved", said Francesca Naish, Founder & Director of Natural Fertility Management.

Francesca says a lot of it is to do with diet. "Anecdotally probably about 70-75% get the gender that they prefer", she said.

According to the naturopaths, the boy/girl diet as it's known, relies heavily on the modification of the four basic elements; potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

So if you want a baby girl you go for the dairy and green vegies but if you want a little boy potassium is the key and the best source are bananas. "In a diet you don't want to be increasing salt because that has other concerns, so it's usually better to do that with a supplement regime. When you're looking at gender selection you have to place health as a priority -- you're better off having a healthy baby of the wrong gender than a sick baby of the right or desired gender", Francesca said.

After three beautiful girls basketball superstar Andrew Gaze and wife Melinda started researching ways to increase their chances of having a baby boy. "It wasn't going to worry or phase us way whatsoever what the sex of the baby was going to be. It just comes down to here's something to give a try to give yourself a better a chance", Andrew said.

After seeing a naturopath they altered their diets dramatically. "I was competing at the time and after every training session I had to cool down in the nether regions. You get the ice after training and you ice down your groin and after a while it's pretty hard to maintain that enthusiasm for the process", Andrew said.

While Andrew isn't convinced the diet work, they did end up with a baby boy, Mason. "It's not a coincidence that a lot of athletes I know are very strong in the girl department. My team mate Leonard Copland had four girls and Shane Heal he had three girls -- a lot of girls", Andrew said.

It takes a bit of planning and the diet changes need to take place at least 2-3 months before conception.

Parents wanting a more definite result are travelling overseas and undergoing IVF gender selection where it's allowed.

"The most effective way of gender selection is IVF -- it is 99.95% effective", said IVF specialist Dr Sam Soo.

Dr Soo who practices at Freemason Hospital and Melbourne IVF, often has couples inquiring about gender selection. "About one couple a week would come in and see me asking about gender selection", he said.

Not surprisingly those practising medicine are sceptical about the gender diet and warn hopeful parents not put all your eggs in one basket. "I think most of the studies have shown it doesn't make a difference but if it did, the difference is very small. So it's fair to say if you're relying on one of these methods for a boy or a girl you should be ready get the gender wrong", Dr Soo said.

The proof though may be in the eating.

For further information:

MELBOURNE IVF -

New enquiries: 1800 111 483 / Existing patients (03) 9473 4444

Epworth Freemasons

20 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002

(03) 9418 8188

The Jocelyn Centre - Francesca Naish

http://www.fertility.com.au/index.html

(02) 9268 9000