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  1. #1
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    Trivers Willard hypothesis

    Hi, for those who may remember me from another website (kristindoggirl), I wanted to have my blog information available for all to use. This is in order from when I began my TTC journey. Please know that I don't necessarily believe in or advocate all the things I did when I was writing this blog...I've done a lot of research in the 3 + years since then.

    WHAT IS THE TRIVERS WILLARD HYPOTHESIS? (POST 1)

    The Trivers Willard hypothesis is a biological theory that has been around for over 30 years. In a nutshell, it states that it makes more sense (evolutionarily speaking) for mothers who are in better physical condition to have more boys, while mothers in poorer physical condition, would tend to have girls.

    Trivers Willard has been widely researched in a variety of different mammals including humans, and there seems to be something to it. You may have read some of the recent articles regarding sex ratio, stating that moms that smoke are more likely to have girls, while those who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to have boys? Well, that is Trivers Willard in action.

    The hypothesis holds that when good, high quality food is plentiful and a mother's health is strong, there is some mechanism in a female mammal's body that alters her biology and vaginal environment to favor y sperm, and vice versa. It seems bigger, stronger, healthier male offspring are best suited to compete for mates, whereas even the smallest and weakest female offspring generally find a mate and have offspring. (Though I'm only an amateur scientist, I further surmise that in times of famine, female children, who are smaller and need less calories to grow and thrive, would be far more likely to live to adulthood to begin with. Another reason why our bodies might favor one gender over another.)

    I am speculating that when we sway using douches, supplements, special diets, and timing, we are in fact mimicking this natural phenomenon. Therefore, I'm going to try and trick my body into thinking times are a little tougher just prior to ttc a girl. I will monitor my pH and CM levels and see if anything changes while I alter my diet.

    I am not going to sway traditionally. I know many people are wondering why I would dare to risk my attempt on a totally untested theory.

    Firstly, I truly believe it will work. I know that my boy pregnancies occured during a time when I was either actively gaining weight (Boys 1 and 3) or maintaining a bit above the 'correct' weight for my height (Boy 2). Also, I became pregnant when I was eating very well, lots of fat and high carb foods - Boys 2 and 3 were planned and I wanted to be in excellent health for my pregnancy. I am naturally somewhat slim, but never skinny, and I have more muscle mass than many women have. And with all three boys, I exercised at a healthful level, not too much, not too little. According to what I've read, these things all point to boy pregnancies.

    Secondly, I think it can help people. I have seen too many other women have their hearts broken by GD, even after a 'perfect' sway. The information is out there, we just have to figure out how to incorporate it into our sway. And if I use the traditional methods of swaying as well, it will never be certain why exactly my sway was successful. Someone is going to have to be the first one to try to TTC using Trivers Willard, and it might as well be me. In all honesty, if my sway fails and I get another boy, it's not the end of the world for me. I'm ok with another boy. At the very least it will be another chapter in our swaying library, even if it is filed under "Do not do!"

    And finally, I'm 38 years old. My fertility is waning, it is a fact of life. My DH is 39, and has worked around chemicals his whole life. I am reticent about using too many douches or supplements that may reduce my chances of getting pregnant, and killing off my husband's healthiest sperm does not seem wise to me. Even though I feel that the lime douche method is perfectly safe, I just feel that since we are at an increased risk of age-related birth defects, I want the strongest swimmer available to do the job. My primary goal is to provide a healthy, same age sibling for my youngest son. My desire for a daughter must come behind the good of my family.

    I hope this spells out my thoughts and motivation clearly - I will post again very soon with the specifics of my TTC plan, and check back again for more information about Trivers Willard as it becomes available. Please PM me with any questions or criticism. Thanks for reading! Kristin
    Last edited by atomic sagebrush; January 18th, 2012 at 10:32 AM.

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  3. #2
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    MY TTC PLAN (POST 2)

    I'm planning on ttc starting on Jan. 22, my baby's 9 month birthday. I feel that he'll be off to a good start at that point, so if I do get pg and I need to wean him, I will be able to. My starting weight is 151 lbs. and my pH is around 6 (sorry I have crappy pH sticks, I've ordered better ones but they're not here yet.)

    The main aspects of my ttc plan are as follows:

    1- to gradually lose between 20-30 pounds over the next three months while still keeping my milk supply up

    This averages out to be aorund 2 pounds a week. This is doable for me, but I have a hard time losing weight when breastfeeding, so we'll see what I'm really capable of. The more weight lost the better, but just being in the process of losing weight may be enough for my body to 'think' I'm living in a time of famine.

    I will continue taking my daily multivitamin, Vitamin D, and Enfamil DHA vitamins as I've been taking for months, and I will add extra folic acid to make up for any lack as I cut out most fortified breads, pasta, and cereals.

    2 - to gradually eliminate carbs and high fat from my diet, switching over to lower fat products and fewer carbs

    Lean chicken, fish twice a week, and eggs. I'm off red meat all together as of today. I am considering shifting from full fat dairy to low fat at some point, but since I feel that baby Tate needs me to eat a decent amount of good fat, I am leaning towards sticking with the full fat dairy products and I will continue taking my Enfamil DHA vitamins for the same reason. Full fat dairy also helps increase fertility. I'm going to stay away from fruit all together, and stick with lower carb vegetables (no corn, carrots, or tomatoes). I know that vegies are not ok on the regular ttc girl diet, but I think I need to keep eating them for Tate's sake and for my own sanity. Other carbs, like breads and pastas, I'm going to have to gradually wean off of, reducing the amount while simultaneously replacing refined carbs with whole grains. I can't go off carbs too suddenly, I've tried it once before and it makes me kind of sick. Plus I think it would reduce my milk supply.

    3- to keep my blood glucose levels moderately low and without wild fluctuations

    There are studies done by Elissa Cameron, a biologist at the U. of Nevada, that have suggested that glucose levels in a mother's blood are the mechanism that controls gender in terms of the Trivers Willard hypothesis. Lower blood glucose means more girls, and higher blood glucose means more boys; somehow your glucose level communicates to your body, possibly telling it to raise pH and hormone levels. High fat and high carb diets elevate your blood glucose levels, so by sticking to my diet as described above, I think I can keep my glucose levels lower than they are normally.

    I've also looked into natural methods of keeping blood sugar low, such as grapefruit and cinnamon. Grapefruit has a lot of natural sugar in it and also has been known to screw up absorption of certain nutrients, so I think I'll stay away from it. No one seems to know if cinnamon is really safe in pregnancy, so again, I'll be avoiding that, although I do think cinnamon in particular is something we should look into adding to the ttc girl supplements at some point.

    I will also completely eliminate caffeine as that can cause wild fluctuations in blood sugar.

    4 - to pursue frequent and intense cardio exercise for losing weight and keeping blood glucose levels stable

    The best bet that I have found for lowering and stabilizing blood glucose levels is exercise. Diabetics are able to lower their blood glucose levels quite successfully with exercise alone, especially if they exercise in short bursts just prior to each meal. So my exercise plan consists of running 20 sets of steps before each of my three meals, plus an hour of more intensive exercise a day, whenever I can, it is difficult with a baby!

    I will be sticking to just cardio, no weight training. I have read a study regarding women in Africa, and the women with the most upper arm muscle mass had the most boys. I tend to think this is more that upper arm muscle mass is indicative of overall health and not that muscle mass = more boys, but I've decided to err on the safe side and eliminate weight training.

    4 - to continue breastfeeding my son as long as possible

    Mainly because I can't justify shortchanging my existing child in favor of a new pregnancy, but also because it seems to me that breastfeeding is another way my body is being taxed. Any way I can use up calories seems a good way to communicate to my body that a girl pregnancy might be preferable at this time.

    Furthermore, diabetic mothers have found that while breastfeeding, their blood sugar levels seem to normalize naturally, and many of them are able to lower and even eliminate insulin during breastfeeding, so breastfeeding may be another way to keep my blood glucose levels low.

    5 - getting lots of sleep and keeping stress to a minimum

    Lack of sleep and high stress levels tend to raise blood glucose levels, leading to weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

    6 - frequent baby dancing and not worrying about timing

    I know this is frowned upon in a traditional sway, but if I use too many of the tactics of a traditional sway, the cause and effect will get muddled.

    Furthermore, I'm somewhat worried about my fertility, so I think the more sex, the better my chances of pregnancy, and the sooner the better as my eggs ain't getting any younger. I don't want to have to try for a year or two if I can help it.

    Also, although my husband is very supportive of another child, he has no gender preference and is not at all interested in swaying, he just wants to have fun doing it. I feel that since he is being so supportive of the entire baby idea, I better not push my luck here and demand too much!!

    In regards to timing, I have three boys conceived during Shettles girl periods, so I don't put too much stock in this.

    And finally, I think worrying too much about the timing and positioning of sex just adds to the general stress of the whole thing. Stress is bad for fertility and raises blood glucose levels, so I'm just going to have the attitude of, go in and have a good time and see what happens.

    Well, that is my plan. I find it quite interesting that actually it isn't that different from a traditional sway. I really do suspect that we are activating certain inborn mechanisms in our body when we sway, and I hope that my experience will give us yet more information we can use to our advantage.

  4. #3
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    TRIVERS WILLARD Q AND A (POST 3, PART 1)
    First of all, if this is the first time you've visited, hi!

    Personal update - weight 147 lbs, pH still around 6. Still waiting on the better pH strips. Exercising has proved more difficult than I had hoped with a 6month old, but things are going well on my diet. Every time I get a craving I take out the daisy-covered sandals I bought when I was pregnant with DS 3 and I regain my motivation. My milk supply has stayed quite good, but seems a little low this morning. I will have some extra calories for breakfast and give the baby some cereal to compensate.

    And an idea to better the plan - I can't do this now due to breastfeeding, but I think it might be worth looking into for anyone else thinking of trying this. Try adding Chitoslim to the ttc girls supplement list. It's a dietary aid that's made out of lobster shells, and it absorbs fat from your diet. So if you're cutting way back on carbs but still eating a lot of high fat dairy, this might be a painless way to eliminate yet more calories from your diet. This would probably be good even if you're doing the traditional ttc girl diet - though someone should find out if it has any effect on acidity.

    Ok - I have read several questions about Trivers Willard and related issues and I'm going to answer them to the best of my ability.

    I am a Christian, and I don't believe in evolution. These ideas are offensive to my beliefs.

    Personally, I think God created evolution, but no matter what your beliefs, the Trivers Willard hypothesis has been extensively studied by many scientists and they have all observed the phenomenon in other mammals. I believe that God designed us with the best biology He could in order to help us survive, so if He knew that having more girls sometimes and boys at other times would help us, He would have created us that way.

    Why don't you believe in swaying the regular way?

    I do, but I think there has to be a deeper reason behind why pH levels can sway gender. Our bodies don't do anything for no reason. I think altering pH levels just mimicks a natural process, and so if we can tap into that process, our sways will be even more successful.

    This all seems very farfetched. What are you going to do if this doesn't work?

    It's very possible it won't work. Firstly, no sway could ever be 100%. If losing weight caused 100% birth of one gender, the human race would've died out long ago. The first famine would've wiped us all out. There are too many variables to be considered and too many body types and chemistry to count. All I can do is know my own body, and I know I was gaining weight 2 out of the 3 times I conceived boys, and eating red meat and high carbs with all three.

    Secondly, I think it's entirely possible that the combination of my husband and I cannot make girls, or at least not very easily. It wouldn't matter if I had the greatest sway ever, it would be a longshot, because something fundamental in our body chemistry is working so hard against conceiving a girl that it cannot be overcome. If that is the case, I may just have to accept that my body knows something I don't, and maybe I am best at raising boys. So be it.

    I do hope that my success or failure will not deter people from looking into this possibility further. One case is not adequate evidence to prove or disprove anything. It seems quite easy to incorporate the idea of lower carbs and weight loss into a traditional girl sway anyway. Or to try and gain a little weight when ttc a boy.
    Last edited by atomic sagebrush; December 30th, 2010 at 01:24 PM.

  5. #4
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    POST 3 PART 2
    This doesn't work because I'm overweight and I have a lot of girls.

    Something very interesting that I have observed personally is that some overweight women do seem to have a lot of girls. We have two neighbors, one with 6 girls, one with three girls, and they are both overweight.

    I see three possible explanations for this. Firstly, if you were planning a pregnancy, the natural mindset seems to be 'I will get healthy so I can get pregnant.' For overweight women, this might entail going onto a diet, or even just eating more healthfully, and starting an exercise regimen. Using the logic of Trivers Willard, this is the opposite of what you want to do to conceive a boy.

    Secondly, some people are not overweight because they eat a lot of high-nutrient foods, they are overweight because they eat empty calories. Since we don't know exactly what physical mechanisms are in play, it seems possible that if your body 'thinks' it isn't getting enough quality food, it may respond by reacting just as it would in a time of famine.

    Finally, there is potentially a connection between blood glucose levels and baby's gender. If you eat a lot of refined carbs and sugar, even high fat, all these things raise blood glucose levels, causing insulin to be released. Over time, our bodies gradually build up a resistance to insulin. More and more insulin must be released into the blood****** to metabolize that glucose. In effect, you are constantly bathing your body in glucose-lowering chemicals, and low blood glucose equals more girls. Again, since we don't know precisely what mechanism (or more than one) is functioning in Trivers Willard, the presence of these chemicals, or other chemicals found in highly processed nutrient-poor food, might also be signaling your body that your health is compromised.

    This doesn't work because I was thin and exercised a lot and I have a boy.

    If you were planning a pregnancy, it is quite possible that you began to eat more healthfully in the months before you conceived. Perhaps you added more servings of meat, began to drink milk, or felt it was ok to indulge in a little extra dessert than normal. You may have eaten less processed food and exposed yourself to less additives. You probably began to take prenatal vitamins. You may even have cut back on exercise thinking it would help you conceive. Boy zone!!

    It may also matter if your exercise was primarily cardio, or if there was an element of weight training involved. There was a study done in Africa among refugees fleeing famine, and it found that women with the highest amount of muscle in their upper arms had the most boys and those with the least muscle had the most girls.

    Or you may have been in such good health, and burning so many calories through exercise, that your body was able to tolerate a relatively high amount of caloric intake. You might have been able to eat far more than another woman who did not exercise at all, and this increased food signalled to your body that times were good and that a boy pregnancy would be desirable.

    I have a boy and a girl, or vice versa. If it's that complicated, then how did I manage that?

    To me, this is the strongest proof that Trivers Willard exists and that we can use it to sway. If some of us were really unable to have girls or boys, then how is it that so many others can have children of both genders seemingly effortlessly?

    One scenario might be, at one point your body thought food was plentiful and your health was good, and so you had a boy. Then, when you later conceived your daughter, perhaps you were a little run down from pregnancy or breastfeeding. Maybe you were busy with a small child and unable to eat as well as you should - sometimes you even skipped meals altogether. You often took your child to the park to play with him, sometimes for hours. And you conceived a girl.

    Conversely, maybe you were very thin and liked to work out a lot in your pre-child days. Your first pregnancy was a girl, and whoops, you put on a few extra pounds during the pregnancy. Having a small child makes it more difficult to exercise to exhaustion like you used to, and you find yourself eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly and goldfish crackers and pasta, just because that's what your child likes. It's no surprise that you might have a boy next.

    I have a lot of health problems, but I have all boys!

    It may depend on the type of health problems you have. Something extremely interesting that I have observed in my own life, is that some people I know who suffer from autoimmune disorders have all boys. Two women I know who have rheumatoid arthritis both have two boys, and two women (myself included) who have severe allergies, eczema, and often have hives, also with two boys each. Obviously, this is not a reliable sample (particularly since 2 of us are from IG and are pre-selected for having all one gender of child), but it is a tantalizing notion. Autoimmune diseases strike when the body's immune system is hyperactive, even attacking its own tissues. It seems within the realm of possibility that your body might interpret this strong immune reaction as a sign that health is extremely good.

    Diabetes and insulin resistance is another disease I think could easily influence gender, due to its effect on blood glucose levels. I know a couple of diabetic women with all girls, but this may only be a coincidence. There are several other diseases like PCOS that affect blood sugar as well.

    I would be interested to hear of any other disease-gender clusters that anyone has noticed.

    If all this is true, and girls are more likely to survive to adulthood and have offspring then boys are, then why would boys be born at all?

    It is a little more complicated than that. The implications of the theory are, that since strong and healthy males can theoretically mate with many, many women, and produce many offspring, if your child is likelier to be strong and healthy (born into an environment where resources are plentiful), he will more likely be a boy. On the other hand, if your child is likelier to be smaller (due to scarce resources), and even the smallest, least healthy females are capable of producing some offspring, if times are tough you will be more likely to have a girl. So girls are a sure thing, while boys are a gamble that may pay off big time.

    Now - to completely go off on a tangent... I think this theory is missing a very big chunk. The fact is, the existence of strong boys and men has been vital to the survival of all humans in every environment throughout time. They defend women and children against aggressors, provide food and shelter, and have been the driving force behind most of the technological advances that mankind has ever produced (not saying women can't or haven't done all of these things, just that men have generally been more likely to). I think that the survival of humanity as a whole requires the presence of many strong boys and men, and that the whole "men spreading their seed all over the place" notion is a bit misguided. IMHO, more males are born in times of plenty because we need strong boys and men and men for the survival and betterment of the species, and they need more and better quality calories to grow big and strong than females do.

    Well, I believe I've blathered on long enough here. If you've made it all the way to the end of this, I thank you for sticking with me and I'd love to hear what you think.

  6. #5
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    POST 4
    Hi again! If this is your first visit, please scroll down to the first post and read the posts in order, it will really help you understand what all this is about.

    Personal update - Weight 142, acidity 5.75! We’re making progress! Still having trouble finding time to exercise as much as I would like. My milk supply has been a little low at some points, but recovers quickly with increased caloric intake and slightly higher carbs. I’m working on finding that magical balance between losing weight and keeping my supply strong. Exercise is still a little hit and miss.

    Now - onto the main course. I’ve been doing a lot of research since my last post, and I am totally stoked with what I’ve uncovered!! It turns out that things I was suspecting might be true, actually are!! We are on our way towards getting the gender we’ve been dreaming of!

    Blood glucose level may just be the most important factor in a good sway. According to the studies of Elissa Cameron, a scientist currently studying Trivers Willard and gender ratio in mammals at the University of Nevada at Reno, low blood sugar levels = girl, and moderate levels = boy. (High levels don’t count, because your body doesn’t like having high glucose levels and immediately releases insulin, drastically lowering your blood sugar. You know that awful feeling you get an hour after eating a candy bar? That is the sensation of your blood sugar crashing.)

    Glucose is a moderately sweet sugar that your body uses as its primary source of fuel. Glucose is found naturally in things like fruit and honey - so just avoid fruit and honey and get a girl, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

    The main source of glucose is glycogen, a substance your body makes out of any carbohydrate, and stores in the liver and in your muscle tissue. So between meals, once your body has burned off all the available glucose, it starts breaking down its stored glycogen into glucose and uses that for fuel. Your body likes to have quick energy, and glucose/glycogen is the quickest and safest energy at its disposal. Your body stores between 375-475 g of carbohydrates, a tiny amount as blood sugar, but the vast majority in your liver and muscles as glycogen. This is enough for you to run for 20 miles, just using your body’s stored carbohydrates as fuel.

    But what happens when your body runs out of glucose and stored glycogen? Your liver begins to manufacture glucose out of amino acids it gets from your fat and muscle tissue (which is why you tend to lose muscle mass when you’re crash dieting.) And the side effect of manufacturing glucose from amino acids?? Acidosis, a buildup of acid in the blood!!!

    According to the Trivers Willard hypothesis, mothers who are in the worst physical condition due to a lack of abundant resources have more girls. And according to basic human biology, when you are losing weight and living off your stored fat and muscle tissue, your body becomes more acidic. So if worse condition = more girls and more acid in the body, it isn’t much of a leap to conclude that more acid = more girls. So all the ttc girl swaying we were doing with supps and douches, trying to lower our pH levels, wasn’t just old wives tales and superstition. It is based on scientific fact!! Pretty cool, huh??

    Ok - now the downside. (of course there’s always a downside…) It isn’t healthy to have too much acid in your body for too long. So when we sway by losing weight, we must be very careful to eat at least some carbohydrates every day, either by eating some low carb vegetables or even a half a slice of whole grain bread with our protein based meals, or by allowing ourselves one higher carb meal a day. (Don’t worry, your body will release insulin to deal with the higher carb levels, and actually keep your blood glucose low) I think right before bed is the perfect time to do this, because we will have many hours of no food intake afterwards, and won't experience the unpleasant sensation of a carb crash. And since some of us may even choose to skip breakfast, that would give us a nice long time period with no glucose coming in.

    Do not eat both high levels of simple carbs and high fat and protein in the same meal, you will be counteracting your sway with that. (Unless you are trying to TTC a boy, in which case that’s what you should eat at every meal!!) For TTC a girl, either eat a small amount of complex carbs like lower carb veggies or whole grains with your meal (keeping your blood sugar still low overall), or eat just simple carbohydrates (raising your blood sugar quickly but then the release of insulin will drive the level back down again, maybe even lower than it was to start with.)

    And even more important - when you are in the 2ww you must! And I repeat must!!! Eat carbs at every meal! I mean it!!! You can hurt your baby if you have extremely low blood sugar at this point!!! As soon as you’ve O’d and DTD, stop dieting, cut back on exercise, and start adding in a slice of bread or some fruit at every meal. Don’t go overboard and gain weight, just start eating in a balanced way again. You can always resume the diet should Aunt Flo arrive.

    Remember, millions of women have conceived baby girls by doing absolutely nothing any differently than what they‘ve always done. We don’t need to become “swayorexic” and destroy our health, we just have to do enough to send our bodies the message that a girl pregnancy would be preferred.

  7. #6
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    POST 5
    Hi again! Personal update - weight 141, pH 5.5. I haven’t been making as much milk as I would like, and my weight seems to have plateaued. No matter how much I cut back, I don’t seem to lose any weight, and at the same time I am not producing enough milk, so I am going to have to increase my calories somewhat. I’m feeling a little discouraged right now, but I still feel that for any person not breastfeeding, losing as much weight as fast as you can is the way to go.

    A couple of new and exciting discoveries I’ve come across -

    Cranberry and Vit. C are both being studied by diabetes researchers for their potential to lower blood glucose. So not only may we be acidifying our bodies with our TTC girl supps, we may actually be lowering our blood glucose levels at the same time. Excellent for TTC a girl.

    And I’ve been discovering more about why it is so important to fit intense exercise into our plans. Aside from blood sugar control, I’ve learned that when we exercise anaerobically (that is, very intensely, past the point where we’re out of breath) even for short bursts, we dramatically raise the levels of lactic acid in our blood******. Furthermore, at the same time, we are using so much of our glycogen (the fuel the body generally prefers) just to keep going, that our muscles begin making food out of muscle tissue instead. This is a natural response, because the body wants to preserve as much of its quick burning glycogen as possible. So intense exercise really does acidify the body, even when you‘re not losing weight at all.

    The main purpose of my post today is to reexamine why it is, if weight loss truly tends to sway for girls, that bigger women often have many girls (an observation made by several IG members completely independent of each other - not trying to generalize or offend anyone). And how can a ridiculously thin woman like Victoria Beckham have 3 boys?

    First, let’s revisit the idea of why very thin women might have more girls. When a person eats an inadequate amount for their level of activity, their bodies quickly burn off the available blood glucose and glycogen (the form of glucose stored in liver and in muscle tissues). Then, in order to manufacture the glucose a body needs for its metabolic functions, the body begins to cannibalize its own muscle tissue, breaking down the protein into its basic components, one side effect of which is releasing acids into the blood******. Add in frequent intense exercise that produces other acids as well, and it is easy to see how crash dieting and over exercise can make your body very acidic.

    So, in the case of Victoria Beckham, she is probably just maintaining at a weight that is natural for her. Some people are naturally very thin, and their body chemistry is just accustomed to supporting her metabolism at that weight. Perhaps she even gains a bit of weight for health purposes just prior to TTC. Or she could tend to eat very alkalinizing foods that counteract her body’s acidity.

    Still, even if we can explain away Victoria Beckham, clearly it would be completely counterintuitive to expect that any heavyset woman would have girls. In fact, just the existence of one overweight woman with all girls would completely negate the entire theory.

    However, according to my research, it seems there are two paths to an overly acidic body. One of which, as I mentioned above, is losing weight. But the other path to acidity seems to be a high carb, low nutrient diet.

    First of all, an excess of sugar in the blood feeds yeast and other microorganisms that release acids as they digest those sugars, so anyone eating a lot of sugar is pretty much turning their body into an acid factory.

    Secondly, when a person eats primarily quick burning, empty carbs like white bread, candy, pasta, and so forth, as some overweight people do, their blood sugar goes up very high and very fast. This triggers an insulin response; the body releases large amounts of insulin to counteract the sugar in the blood. And then the blood sugar drops even lower than it was to start with - the body runs out of its preferred quick burning glucose/glycogen and begins devouring its own tissue for energy. This leads to intense cravings for sugary foods and just perpetuates the entire cycle again and again.

    A diet high in sugar may actually cause low blood glucose, signaling to the body that a girl pregnancy is desirable and contributing to an acid environment. If this seems farfetched, you may be surprised to hear that researchers lowered blood glucose to dangerous levels in test animals by feeding them nothing but sugar.

    Ok, so if both ways work, why don’t we just eat a bunch of sugar to get girls? Health issues aside, it’s because each individual’s body chemistry is just too different. Anyone with insulin resistance (meaning their cells aren’t very responsive to insulin‘s effects) might raise their blood glucose levels and end up conceiving a boy when they wanted a girl. But since every person’s blood glucose levels drop when they eat less sugar, lose weight, and exercise, it seems like that is the more reliable path to take when TTC a girl.

    Wishing everyone the best of luck in their TTC adventures

  8. #7
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    POST 6
    Back again with a lot of new information! For those of you who are here for the first time, welcome! Please read my blogs from the oldest first, so you will be able to follow what I'm babbling about.

    Personal update - weight 138, pH 5-5.5! I have tested several times and gotten consistent results from 5-5.5 each time. I am definitely getting more acidic, it’s like magic to see that pH changing colors, from 6 to 5 in only a month, without taking any cranberry or Crystal Light at all!

    Due to my milk supply issues, I had to relax my diet somewhat and I’m focusing more on carbs (more about the reasons behind this change later). Strangely, the side effect of this change in diet has been that my weight plateau has been overcome as my milk returned with a vengeance, even though I know I’m eating more calories than I was. I still feel that the best way to sway for a girl is to cut back on everything as much as you can dietwise, but breastfeeding does so much to sway for a girl anyway, why would I want to eliminate the benefits of that?

    And now for something completely different - you may have been wondering, why, if blood glucose levels seem like such a sure way to control gender, then why aren’t scientists shouting this information off the rooftops? Why haven’t there been books written and millions of dollars made?

    Enter, the maternal dominance hypothesis. This is another theory designed to explain the reasons behind the Trivers Willard hypothesis, suggested by Valerie J. Grant, of the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, School of Medicine, at the U. of Auckland (NZ). Grant does not believe that it’s the mother’s condition at conception that selects for a male or female fetus, unlike Elissa Cameron’s theories about blood glucose.

    Rather, Grant’s theory states that dominant females (defined as women who tend to be influential, ascendant, prevailing, authoritative, and high in control) tend to have more male offspring, and that the improved condition in these dominant mothers is just a side effect of them being dominant to other females - they can outcompete the smaller, weaker females for the best food.

    Underpinning the maternal dominance hypothesis are two suppositions that many scientists believe to be true. Firstly that dominance is a biologically-based personality trait that is strongly correlated to higher levels of testosterone, and secondly that testosterone levels can fluctuate due to changes in status and dominance - both biological changes (diet, weather, age, etc) and social changes can affect testosterone levels, leading to the birth of a boy or a girl.

    Grant proposes that if you have higher testosterone, you’re more likely to have a boy, and if you have lower testosterone, you’re more likely to have a girl. And that any observable change in a mother’s physical condition is simply as a result of her dominance and social status controlling her access to the best and most nutritious foods - it’s not that better nutrition means more boys, but that higher testosterone means more boys, and higher testosterone also means coincidentally that a more dominant mother then gets the most nutritious foods. Grant believes that even though maternal condition seems like it is controlling gender, there is really a third, hidden variable that is controlling both maternal condition and gender, namely testosterone levels.

    There is a lot of speculation about the hows and whys of why the maternal dominance hypothesis, but I’ll save that for a different post. For now, let’s answer the first and foremost question on all our minds. What does this mean for us and our sway?

    Well, surprisingly enough, it doesn’t change things very much at all. To raise testosterone levels, people are advised to eat eggs, nuts, red meat, fruits and vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation, eat good amounts of healthy fats, get plenty of sleep, lift weights, and only do cardio exercise in short bursts. Sounds an awful lot like the TTC boy diet, doesn’t it?

    And things that lower testosterone levels are either being very heavy or very thin, losing weight, smoking, breastfeeding, heavy drinking, smoking, having little muscle mass, intense short-term emotional stress, (long term chronic stress tends to raise testosterone levels), age, eating soy, and eating a diet heavy on carbs with very little animal protein. This is largely what we speculated would be a good way to ttc a girl anyway.

    In the final analysis, it seems that it doesn’t really matter who is right and who is wrong, Cameron or Grant. We get the same results from both approaches, and amazingly, it isn’t too different from the traditional swaying diet we’ve been following all along.

    Bearing this in mind, I’ve revised my plan a bit and will completely eliminate nuts, fish, and eggs (all of which I was eating in moderation), and continue eating very little meat. Since I’ve been forced to eat more empty carbohydrates to keep up my milk supply anyway, I will just continue doing this without the guilt I had been feeling, and just keep trying to lose as much weight as I can. I will continue breastfeeding while I’m trying to lose weight. And I will continue sticking with my cardio exercise, although I wish I could exercise more like 90 minutes a day, instead of 30, but with a new baby and two teenagers, I just have to do what I can do and be happy with that.

    Wishing everyone the best of luck in their ttc journey!

  9. #8
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    POST 7

    Hi again! If this is your first visit, I really hope you’ll take a few minutes and read the previous posts - this blog has been a work in progress and I’ve learned so much as I’ve gone along. Some of the things I thought were true at the beginning have been at least somewhat confirmed, and others seem less important now than I first thought they were.

    Personal update - weight, 133, and pH of 4.5! I’ve gotten readings from 4.5-5 several times now, way too often to be just a fluke. It’s amazing to me that my pH has dropped so quickly considering I’ve taken no cranberry or Crystal Light at all and have not even followed the TTC girl diet very strictly. Very encouraging. My milk has stabilized with my diet the way it is now, even though I’ve lost more weight.

    Since we talked about blood glucose in depth, I think we should give testosterone the same treatment. Remember, testosterone is the linchpin of the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis (MDH) - the idea that females who are more dominant have higher testosterone levels, and tend to have more sons. And any appearance that physical condition is determining gender ratios, is just coincidental to the fact that dominant females are able to outcompete submissive females to food resources.

    How can some hormone, that women have a miniscule amount of, really affect the gender of our children? Scientists don’t really know yet, but the idea that testosterone can effect gender ratio is probably a certain thing. Scientists have studied female rodents, and they found that if the female rodent was in between two male rodents while in the womb, surrounded by testosterone on both sides, that female rodent was far more likely to have sons herself than a female rodent who matured between two sisters.

    Of course, what’s true for rodents isn’t necessarily true for humans, but let’s just accept for the sake of argument that testosterone levels do affect gender ratio in some ways. Since I suspect that we’re tapping into the effects of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis in a traditional sway, and since the MDH is an explanation of one way that Trivers-Willard might work, it stands to reason that the MDH is somehow being affected by a traditional sway. So let’s inspect the MDH in that light.

    TIMING - One of the first and most important aspects of a traditional sway has been the issue of timing BD. Interestingly, testosterone levels rise just before a woman ovulates. So if testosterone really is sending some kind of signal to our bodies about what gender child would be preferable, timing may very well matter. Perhaps if we BD several days before O, our testosterone levels have not yet risen, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting Shettles. And perhaps our testosterone levels drop off after we O, increasing the odds of a girl pregnancy and supporting O+12. Whereas if we BD around ovulation, our testosterone levels are higher than normal and we are more likely to conceive a boy.

    The connection between MDH and timing goes even further than that, however. Most of us have experienced an increase in sexuality around the time we ovulate. Testosterone levels are directly related to that increase in desire. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm. Orgasm boosts testosterone levels, in fact, the more often you orgasm, the higher your testosterone level tends to be. Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = more testosterone = higher sex drive = and so on.

    Orgasm is usually frowned upon in a ttc girl attempt because it increases cervical mucus, which helps the y sperm to swim to the egg more easily; cervical mucus also tends to be alkaline. Bearing this in mind, the chain of events might happen somewhat like this: Ovulation = more testosterone = higher sex drive = more likely to have an orgasm = increased cervical mucus = alkaline vaginal pH = more y sperm survive = more boy babies conceived. Interesting, no?

    DIET - The next important aspect of a traditional sway is diet. Testosterone levels can be directly affected by diet. When weightlifters are building muscle, they want to increase their testosterone levels, so they eat eggs, nuts, fish, and meat - as much protein as they can take in. They also eat plenty of good fats and carbohydrates to keep their bodies from cannibalizing their muscle tissue, and they take in 3-4000 calories in the course of a day. This isn’t too different from the TTC boy diet, and in fact that is one thing many girl moms really have to focus on, eating much more meat than they do normally.

    On the traditional TTC girl diet, we focus more on grains and dairy foods, and many women find they lose weight while on the diet. Although chicken, fish, and eggs are allowed, since we are trying to take in so much dairy and reduce our sodium levels, many of us have found that we eat much less of these things than we had previously. Weight loss, less protein, and less meat lower testosterone levels.

    Anecdotally, I have heard that vegans and vegetarians have far more daughters, supporting the notion that less animal protein might lead to more daughters. I have tried to find hard stats on this and I couldn’t, but when I was searching for information about this topic, I read hit after hit about vegetarians talking about their daughters, and none talking about their sons.

    Interestingly, being very heavy also lowers testosterone levels. This would support the observations that some have made that being very thin and very heavy both tend to sway for girls.

    EXERCISE - Exercise isn’t a part of a traditional sway, but let’s examine it anyway. Weight training and gaining muscle mass raise testosterone levels, while weight loss, especially drastic weight loss, lowers testosterone levels. In a traditional sway, when a woman begins to take in a lot more meat than she typically does, her body is likely to take the opportunity to use that meat to build up muscle mass. So not only does the increased protein in her diet itself increase testosterone levels, the muscle that the body then builds using that protein also increases testosterone. A win-win for having a boy.

    On the other hand, many women follow an exercise regimen of long, sustained cardio exercise, and often eschew weightlifting because they don’t want to bulk up. We have already discussed how intense anaerobic exercise can acidify the body, but it also lowers testosterone levels at the same time. Mix intense overexercise with a low calorie, low protein diet and you will burn up the majority of your muscle mass. Your body becomes both very acidic and very low in testosterone, girl zone!

    LIFESTYLE ISSUES - Again, not part of a traditional sway, but still interesting. Smoking causes first a sharp and sudden rise in blood sugar, and then the corresponding crash as too much insulin is released. Smoking also lowers testosterone. Drinking does the same, and in fact that‘s why people often get the munchies when they‘ve been drinking, because their blood sugar drops and makes them crave sweets. It is no wonder that smoking and drinking tend to sway for girls.

    Being well rested raises testosterone levels, and a lack of sleep lowers them. Sleep is also a big factor in blood sugar issues - people who don‘t sleep enough at night tend to have low blood sugar, and end up snacking a lot. Not sleeping well = low blood sugar and low testosterone.

    BREASTFEEDING - To me, breastfeeding is the most interesting of all, because it really affects every aspect of swaying. Not only does breastfeeding reduce testosterone levels by itself, but as those of us who have breastfed know, our sex drives all but disappear when we’re nursing. So we’re less interested in sex, less likely to orgasm, and we have less, and drier cervical mucus.

    Breastfeeding also affects our blood sugar, to the extent that many diabetic moms find their blood sugar levels remain so low just from nursing that they are able to dramatically cut back on their insulin until after they wean their baby. A nursing mother is also more likely to be losing weight than a woman who isn’t nursing, just because her body is burning so many calories just to make milk. She may be using up so many calories to make milk that her body is actually robbing her muscles for protein, further reducing her testosterone levels and acidifying her body.

    I’ve never had a lot of luck exercising while I’m nursing, and I would certainly never lift weights around a small baby - I would love to hear of other people’s experiences.

    I have found that during the time I’m nursing, I tend to get less sleep because I wake up several times a night to attend to my baby. Since less sleep = less testosterone, just the fact of having a small baby might tend to sway for a girl.



    AGE - A factor we have no control over, but all people, men and women alike, have less testosterone as they age. Also, women tend to lose muscle mass as they get older, so they have even less testosterone available. That may very well be why older women tend to have more daughters.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of information to take in all in one sitting, thanks to all who’ve stuck it out till the end! As always, wishing everyone the best of luck in their TTC journey!

  10. #9
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    POST 8
    Hi again! Personal update - weight, 131, pH4.5. I haven’t had a pH reading higher than 4.5 since my last posting. DH and I have begun TTC, though I don’t know how regularly I am ovulating. I’ve only had one menstrual cycle since I had my son. My milk supply has been excellent despite continuing to lose weight. My son has recently become much more interested in solid foods, so I am planning on cutting back somewhat with nursing and hopefully ovulation will begin again.

    I have based much of my research on the information discovered in a recent study out of Oxford, and I thought since I’m referring to it constantly, I had better spell out in depth exactly what the researchers discovered.

    The study was spearheaded by Dr. Fiona Mathews (how interesting that only women seem to be studying this!!) of the University of Exeter, Oxford. 740 women in the UK were asked to keep food diaries of everything they ate in the months before conception and also during their pregnancies. The researchers then tallied up the statistical information and analyzed it to see if any trends emerged between diet and baby’s gender.

    What they found was actually quite amazing. They found that mothers who took in the most calories of the highest quality and variety foods were the most likely to have boys, and mothers who took in the least calories and the least nutritious foods were the most likely to have girls. There was a whopping 24% more boys born to the mothers with the highest caloric intake as opposed to the lowest!! And they also found that diet during pregnancy had no effect on the outcome - it was the mother’s diet in the months leading up to conception that mattered…in other words, we can definitely make changes in our diet to sway.

    Mothers of boys had a caloric intake, on average, of 2,413 calories a day. They also took in a wider array and greater amount of nutrients of all sorts, in particular, calcium, potassium, Vitamins C, E, and B12 (B12 is particularly interesting to me, because strict vegans often are deficient in B12 and have to take supplemental B12 to prevent serious health issues. Another reason vegetarians might have more daughters.) Boy moms ate more good fats and more protein. They ate a higher sodium diet. Eating breakfast cereal was also strongly linked with having sons - the researchers surmised that more breakfast cereal meant more likely to eat breakfast and therefore concluded that eating breakfast led to more boys being conceived. But I think it also might have to do with the fact that breakfast cereals are also highly fortified.

    Mothers of girls had a caloric intake, on average, of 2,283 calories a day. They ate less protein, less variety of nutrients, less fat, less sodium, and less protein than the boy moms did. The researchers found no correlation between caffeine intake and baby’s gender.

    The interesting thing is that the boy-friendly diet noted by the Oxford researchers would definitely tend to raise testosterone levels, and eating breakfast and more protein and fat would keep blood sugar levels up for longer periods of time - apparently backing up both Grant’s and Cameron’s theories.



    One other interesting study recently brought to my attention gives us even more information about how diet might effect gender. It was done in mice, but there is a reason why researchers use rodents for lab experiments, oftentimes what holds true for rodents is fairly close to what holds true for humans as well. Researchers at the University of Missouri (again, mostly women, interestingly enough) took two groups of mice and fed one group a diet that was very high in saturated fat (the kind found in animal products). The second group was fed a diet low in fat but high in sugar and carbohydrate.

    The diets were identical in terms of protein, unsaturated fat, and mineral content - the only thing different was whether the majority of calories were coming from saturated fats or carbohydrates (although the high fat diet did have more calories than the other diet did) Both groups of mice had been fed Purina Mouse Chow prior to being put onto the special diet, and the mice came from the same genetic pool, to try and eliminate as many variables as possible.

    The mice were equally fertile and had lots of litters, but there were far more males born to the high saturated fat group, and far more females born to the high carb group. And interestingly, the older the mice got, the more the difference - the older boy moms had even more boys and the older girl moms had even more girls.

    That meshes exactly with what I have found out regarding diet and swaying, and is actually amazingly close to the kind of diet I ended up following to lose weight while keeping my milk supply up. And both studies illuminate the potential reasons why women of all body types have children of both genders. It may have much more to do with the kinds of calories you’re consuming and your overall nutrient intake than it does your body type.

    Wishing everyone the best of luck in their swaying adventures!

  11. #10
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    POST 9 PART 1
    Hi again - yes, Iím still here!!! My weight is a delightful 126.5 lbs and although I have spent the last few weeks fluctuating between 129 and 126, my pH has stayed consistent at 4.5. I was trying to take a break at 126, but it seems like whenever Iím not actively losing weight, my body wants to gain it!!

    This has been a bit of a discouraging month for me on the weight loss front. Though Iím happy with the amount Iíve lost, I am facing a dilemma - I have recently read that losing weight while breastfeeding means that it will take even longer for your menstrual cycle to get back to normal, and that certainly seems to be the case for me! Thatís why I gave up losing weight at 126 even though I feel capable of losing at least 6 more pounds and I think it would make my sway more of a sure thing if I did. But of course the best sway in the world will be all for nothing if I am unable to get pregnant. I have been very tentatively eating a bit more protein than I had been, and I am seriously considering making a doctorís appointment this coming week to see if thereís any way to medically kick start the process. I swear I can feel my fertility plummeting with every day that passes!!

    I also do not like the fact that my weight loss probably wonít peak at the time I get pregnant - it is obvious to me that Iím going to have lost all the weight I possibly can lose long before AF even comes back. I donít know how my body will respond to this - will it slowly begin to return to its normal pH and testosterone levels? I donít know, but it seems likely. Thank goodness that I will be happy with a child of either gender, but I am annoyed that the test of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis wonít be as good as I had hoped. More than ever, I hope that my success or failure will not put anyone off the idea of using the theories surrounding the T-W hypothesis to sway.

    Moving on!!! First off, I must apologize for not updating my blog. I am really not very motivated at all, I feel sort of lazy and exhausted and not at all like myself. So much so, in fact, that I have come to the conclusion that this sudden change in personality means that the sway is working, my testosterone levels are dropping. I find myself losing interest in swaying altogether and just feeling much less passionate about having a daughter, to the point where I have even felt at times like I donít want a daughter, and why am I doing all this anyway, blah, blah blah?? However, I do realize that this is likely an effect of the lack of testosterone in my system, and while unpleasant, it is probably a good sign.

    I have also noticed some physical changes indicative of lower testosterone - aside from the lack of energy and motivation, I have less body hair, low sex drive, and (sorry for TMI) a certain part of my anatomy is smaller than it was before. All in all, itís encouraging, but at the same time, the change in personality makes it hard to take much pleasure in the progress Iím making - I just want to curl up somewhere with a roast and gnaw on it for awhile!!!

    So in light of this, I thought this might be a good time to examine how personality factors and testosterone can influence each other.

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