13/02/2015 11:53 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Shettles Method: 'How We Guaranteed Our Baby Was A Girl'


A couple used a gender selection technique known as the Shettles Method to ensure their baby was a girl - the first one born in the family for more than 200 years.

Since 1809, every baby born into the Lawrie family had been a boy.

So Mark Lawrie, from Maidstone, warned his wife Hannah that it would be unlikely they would ever have a girl together.

Mark has two sons from a previous marriage and he and Hannah planned to have two more children together.

Although Hannah knew it was unlikely, she did hope that one of their babies would be a girl.

"Mark said you'll probably have two boys and I accepted it," she said on ITV's This Morning. "But I always thought it would be nice to have a girl."

The couple's first child, who is now three years old, was a boy they called Mason.

Hannah, who is a midwife, decided to do a bit of research into whether there was anything she could do to increase her chances of having a baby girl.

Doctors at the hospital where Hannah works told her that there isn't any science to support claims that a family is genetically more likely to give birth to boys or girls, it was always a '50/50 chance'.

Hannah decided to try the Shettles Method - a theory that the timing of conception can help to determine the baby's gender.

The theory goes that 'male' sperm swim faster but don't live as long, while 'female' sperm swim slower but have more longevity.

So a couple who want a baby girl should have sex just before the woman ovulates, so that the sperm carrying the female 'X' chromosome will be the ones who reach the egg.

Hannah said she and Mark began having sex two to three days before ovulation, just in case there was some truth to theory.

When Hannah fell pregnant she wasn't holding her breath for a girl, but at the 20 week scan she and Mark got a pleasant surprise.

"I was expecting them to say the same thing to me again that we were expecting another boy, which we would have been more than happy with," she said." When we went in there and she said I was having a girl I was astonished."

In October 2014 the couple welcomed baby Myla - the first baby girl in her father's family since her great great great aunt Bessie in 1809.

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