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!