What Will My Baby Look Like?

Decoding the genetic code

Think of your genetic information like a series of books (larger than the seven books in Harry Potter yet smaller than the 75 issues of The Sandman).

What eye color will my baby have?

Researchers used to think that eye color was determined by a single gene and followed a simple inheritance pattern in which brown eyes were dominant to blue eyes. This theory has since been debunked.

How tall will my child be?

Several formulas exist to estimate your child’s adult height. For example:

  • Add the mother’s height and the father’s height in either inches or centimeters.
  • Add five inches (13 centimeters) for boys or subtract five inches (13 centimeters) for girls.
  • Divide by two.

What hair color will my baby have?

Admittedly, this genetic counselor’s hair color comes out of a bottle. But biologically speaking, hair color, like eye color, is determined by the amount of melanin present. An abundance of one type of melanin, called eumelanin, gives people black or brown hair. An abundance of another pigment, called pheomelanin, gives people red hair.

Will my child inherit my dimples?

A dimple is a small indentation found on one’s skin that is caused by a difference in the formation of the underlying muscle.

What are the chances my child is left or right handed?

Approximately 10 % of the human population is left handed, and like many aspects of human development, handedness is complex. This means that it is influenced by multiple factors, including genetics, prenatal environment, cultural influences, and chance.

True or false: baby will look like the father

As a general rule, any baby will inherit approximately 50% of their genetic material from their mother and 50% from their father. Yet, as the genetic material in our bodies is not organized by body part or system, babies do not receive a complete package of “eye” genetic information from one parent or “nose” genetic information from another.

Take-aways

If you are wondering what color hair and eyes your baby will have or how tall she or he will be, the answer is, we largely don’t know.

Have questions about a particular genetic disease, concern about your genetic risks or interest in the availability of genetic testing? Schedule a session with a genetic counselor or call (877) 688–0992.

Shannon Wieloch is a board-certified genetic counselor with over 18 years of in-person and tele-counseling experience. Her focus has been in reproductive and prenatal health and carrier screening. Shannon has an extensive history of supervisory and leadership roles in research, marketing, product development, mentorship and social media. She is also actively involved in the National Society of Genetic Counselors.This post was contributed by our friends at Genome Medical.

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