Will the Beckham baby be a girl?

Glorious news! Beckingham palace is to hear the patter of tiny feet once again. At a banquet for family and friends on Saturday night, Victoria and David Beckham announced that their three sons – Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and Cruz, five – will gain a sibling this summer. Of course a fourth child is fast becoming a fashion essential. Designer Stella McCartney recently gave birth to her fourth, a girl called Reiley, and Gordon and Tana Ramsay, BFFs to the Beckhams, have four.

Victoria, 36, has spoken wistfully in past interviews of her desire to paint the fingernails of a little daughter. Popular wisdom has it that with every son you have, your chances of buying a pink babygro next time plummets. But this, according to consultant obstetrician Patrick O'Brien, spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, is nonsense. "There is no way to predict the gender of your foetus based on the gender of your other children," he says. Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz are, he says, just as likely to have a little sister as they are a brother.

The real question is, can Victoria's body cope? The risks to the mother, though small overall, do increase with each caesarean section. During a fourth c-section, says O'Brien, there is a higher risk of haemorrhage, "adhesions" (scar tissue inside the abdomen), and damage to the bladder and bowel during surgery. The risk of placenta complications also rises with each op (specifically, placenta praevia, where the placenta is too low down, or placenta accreta, where the placenta becomes stuck to the womb). These problems also raise the risk of hysterectomy.

This is why, until relatively recently, doctors would advise women to stop at three caesareans. "This isn't the case any more," says O'Brien. "While each caesarean does get trickier, the absolute risk to the mother is still quite small." In fact, he recently performed one woman's 10th c-section without a hitch. So, if he plays his card right, Beckham really could get a whole football team.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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