- Family and Parenting
What Will My Baby Look Like?
If you have a child, from whom did he or she get the looks?
What will my baby look like? This is one of the exciting questions that soon-to-be dads and moms ask. I asked this question myself when I was pregnant and have even dreamed about it. Will my baby look like mom or dad? Will he or she be beautiful or handsome? Is it really possible to know what babies look like even before they are born?
Virtual Baby Photos Generated from MakeMeBabies.comClick thumbnail to view full-size
Virtual Baby Maker
Would you believe that even if you are not pregnant or don't even have a marriage partner at all, you can have a sneak preview of what your baby will look like? This is possible because of the many virtual baby maker sites and software programs available today. All you need are your photo and the photo of a partner - it could be your spouse, a boyfriend, or even a celebrity - and the virtual baby maker program does its magic. By merging the two photos, poof, out comes the the virtual baby, it doesn't have to take 9 months.
One high-end software of this kind developed by Luxand claim that theirs use facial recognition technologies. It carefully analyzes the two facial features and applies sophisticated mathematical transformations to these facial features to obtain a totally new face. But this one costs $20. I've tried a free online virtual baby maker and the baby pictures on the right are generated. You could try it just for fun.
Baby's Looks and Genetics
Do you know that a pair of parents has the potential of reproducing 64 trillion different children? That's what experts say based on the estimation that there are 60,000 to 100,000 genes in a human being's 46 chromosomes. And that is what happens when a baby gets 23 chromosomes from mom and another 23 from dad. So statistically speaking, it is quite impossible to predict accurately what your baby will look like.
Furthermore, Kate Garber, PhD, director of education in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta , says that "Most traits are actually determined by many genes working together, rather than a single gene ."
What that means is that the interplay of genes can create all sorts of unexpected traits. As an example, eye color which is determined by the amount of melanin or brown pigment in the
iris can result to a wide variety of hues. Therefore, it is possible for 2 blue-eyed parents to have brown-eyed offspring and vice versa.
There is also such a thing called dominant feature. This means that only one parent need to have the feature to possibly pass on the gene through generations. Examples of dominant features are dimples, freckles, cleft chin, hairy earlobes and widow's peak.
To get an idea of what facial features your child may inherit, look at photos of family members and relatives over generations. If most family members have dimples or a prominent chin, then there is a fairly strong indication that these traits will likely be passed on to the child.
Another scenario would be, if the dad carries only a dominant gene for brown hair and mom carries only a recessive gene for blond, all children should have brown hair. But when the children marries a blond spouse, some grandchildren will have the possibility of having blond hair.
3D and 4D Ultrasound
For couples expecting a baby within a couple of months, it is possible to know the gender of the baby as early as 16 weeks using 2D ultrasound. Now, with the advance in technology, it is also possible to see a clearer picture of how the baby looks like while still in the mother's womb using 3D and 4D ultrasound.
2D, 3D and 4D are features on the ultrasound system that produce images. When we say 2D, black and white images are obtained; 3D produces color still shot pictures; and 4D is like a colored video capture of the baby's movement in mom's tummy. So if the baby is sucking his/her thumb, crying, yawning, etc. you will see his/her movements and gestures using 4D ultrasound.
This new technology is amazing. It is possible to capture baby's first Images in colored photos and video, and preserve the memories for the whole family to enjoy. However, the safety of this souvenir ultrasound baby scans is still in question. For those, who opt to avail of this service, they are doing it at their own risk.