One of the most exciting parts about the prenatal process if finding out the gender of your baby. An anatomy ultrasound is the best way to confirm whether you are having a boy or a girl, but according to legend, ultrasound isn’t the only way to find out the gender of your unborn baby. Our ancestors had their magical ways of predicting a baby’s gender by reading certain signs the body was giving. Let’s take a look at some of these popular old wives’ tales:
1. Carrying High
If you’re carrying high, that means it’s a girl. If you’re carrying low, that means it’s a boy. This is a common myth. There could be another reason for a high belly. If your body is in good shape and/or this is your first pregnancy, your abdominal muscles may play a role in how you carry your baby. If this is your second pregnancy or if you aren’t in the best shape of your life, the elasticity in belly area could cause you to carry low. There’s a similar tale about where you’re carrying the baby weight. This myth says that if most of your baby’s weight is around the middle of the belly, it’s a girl. If all the weight is in front, it’s a boy. I have to reiterate, how and where you carry your baby and extra weight may be related to body type/shape, weight gain, and other physical attributes.
2. Extreme Morning Sickness
The tales say that if you have excessive morning sickness throughout the pregnancy, regardless of the trimester, it’s a girl. In reality, sickness may be associated with increasing hormonal levels and low blood sugars which could happen with a boy or girl.
3. Outrageous Mood Swings
If you’re having wild, unpredictable mood swings such as irritability, anger, and depression, it could be because you’re having a girl. We all know that women are emotional! Actually, there’s no confirmed research supporting this myth. Mood swings, just like morning sickness, are probably occurring because hormonal levels are fluctuating and are common for mothers-to-be carrying a baby of either gender.
4. Faster Fetal Heart Rate
Be sure to ask your ultrasound tech for your baby’s heart rate in beats per minute. According to the old wives’ tale, a rapid heart rate of 140-160 beats per minute means you’re having a girl. This tale is loosely based on facts. I read that after labor begins, the heart rate of a baby girl is usually faster than that of a baby boy.
5. Linea Nigra
Linea Nigra, which is Latin for “black line,” is the dark vertical line that appears along the midline of the abdomen, from the pubic bone to the navel in most pregnancies. It’s usually about a centimeter in width and can also run from the pubic bone to the top of the sternum. Linea nigra is due to increased melanocyte-stimulating hormones made by the placenta, which also causes darkened nipples. Fair-skinned women show this phenomenon less often than women with more melanin, and it typically disappears within a few months after delivery. According to myth, if the line continues to stretch above your navel, you are pregnant with a baby boy. If the line finishes below your belly button, then you are pregnant with a girl.
6. Breast size
If your left breast appears slightly larger than the right breast, or if there is a dramatic increase in breast size, it means you’re having a girl.
7. Hair Texture and Glossiness
If your hair is shiny and thick, this indicates that you’re having a boy. If your hair looks thin and dull, it means that you’re carrying a girl. Apparently girls steal your beauty.
8. Oily Skin and Acne
Speaking of beauty, if you experience oily skin, frequent breakouts, rashes, and any other annoying skin issues, it could mean you’re having a girl. Don’t be mad at your beautiful baby. Like your mood swings and morning sickness, breakouts are probably related to an increase in hormones.
9. Nose Shape
This is another tale that’s common among conversations about motherhood. If your nose is growing wider, it means you could be having a boy. If your nose does change in the shape or thickness then you are probably carrying a girl. Nose swelling can be due to increased estrogen levels, which helps blood flow to the mucous membranes and plumps up your nose as a result. It shrinks back to its original size post-natal.
10. Sweet vs. Savory
If you’re craving salty, sour, or spicy foods, you’re probably carrying a boy. If you’re craving sweet sensations like ice cream and chocolate, you’re most likely having a girl. Limited research suggests that cravings during pregnancy can be related to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, but there’s no connection between these cravings and the gender of your baby.
11. Left vs. Right Sleeping Side
If you sleep on the right side for most of your pregnancy, you can to give birth to a girl. I’m not sure why, but that’s what they say. Also, just a FYI, sleeping on your left side is the ideal sleeping position because it increases the amount of oxygenated blood and nutrients to your placenta.
12. Dreams About Baby Gender
Legend says that if you dream about having a boy, you’re having a girl, and if you dream about a girl, you’re having a boy.
13. Dad’s Weight
Legend also says that if the dad-to-be gains weight when you are pregnant, you will give birth to a girl. Baby girls just take everyone’s beauty, huh?!
The old wives’ tales above may hold true for some and not for others. For example, I’m having a girl! I crave both sweet and savory, my linea nigra extends from my pubic bone all the way up to the bottom of my sternum, my skin is clear and glowing, my hair is thick, my extreme morning sickness faded during early second trimester, and my baby girl came to me in a dream and told me she was a girl. If you can believe any of these myths, then you can believe that my dream wasn’t a dream at all, but a direct form of communication between me and my bundle of joy! What is accurate are my outrageous mood swings, breast size, and fetal heart rate.
The bottom line is that you have a 50-50 chance or guessing your baby’s gender correctly, but the idea of it all is still fun! At the end of the day, all you can do is enjoy the surprise and be happy with the gender of your beautiful baby!