As soon as you realise that you are expecting a baby, you want to know whether you are having a boy or a girl. Modern methods can now let us know this all important fact early on in the pregnancy, but a few decades ago the only way to tell was to wait and see what arrived on the day! A lot of midwives and old wives swore by various ‘sure-fire’ methods of letting the expectant mum know whether they should be buying pink or blue!
10 Spotty the Girl!
Some people believed that if you are carrying a girl you will break out in more acne or other facial blemishes that with a boy. This is clearly nonsense as acne is caused by poor nutrition and hormonal imbalance: and being pregnant with either sex is sure to have all your hormones in an uproar! Despite this, many women find their skin actually improves during pregnancy, hence the compliments about women ‘glowing’ while carrying their child, but there is no correlation between spots and girls!
9 Running Rings Round Girls
Another old-school way to discover the sex of your baby is to hang a gold wedding ring from one of the mother’s hairs (any thread will do if she has short hair!). Hold this make-shift pendant over the swelling belly and wait to see how it moves. If it swings back and forth, you are said to be carrying a boy, whereas if it goes around in a circular motion, it is a girl. It is hard to see any scientific basis for this premise, so if you do have fun and give it a try, do take the result with a pinch of salt!
If you crave savoury or salty foods you are expecting a boy, while girls, much like the nursery rhyme, crave sugar and spice and all things nice! Cravings certainly do occur in pregnancy, but what the mum-to-be craves has little bearing on the sex of the baby; being more to do with nutritional needs and those raging hormones that are racing through her body! (An interesting snippet for you: if you have lots of heartburn with your pregnancy, your baby is likely to have a full head of hair. However, it does not follow that eating spicy foods to cause heartburn will result in your baby having a lot of hair, as some are reported to believe!)
7 Up and Forward vs Down and Back!
Much importance is placed on how a mother carries her baby, with a high-positioned, frontward bump being attributed to carrying a girl (often, women who carry this way, manage to retain the vestige of a waist right up until their due date) while those carrying boys are those who spread at the middle, losing their waist and feeling huge and unsightly. Bump size and position is more likely to be formed by the size of the baby and amniotic sac and the height and relative weight of the mother, with tall slender women literally having more room in which to comfortably carry the baby!
6 Doing ‘It’ Right!
While not really a predictor of an established pregnancy (although you can think back on it once you know the pregnancy is established!) it is said that if you want to have a boy, the father should not have sex for a couple of weeks before ovulation occurs. If a girl is what you want, then plenty of sex is on the cards. The pseudo-scientific explanation for this is that the ‘boy’ sperm are faster, but more delicate than ‘girl’ sperm and therefore more likely to win the race to the egg if they have been allowed to ‘mature’ for a while. ‘Girl’ sperm are slower, but sturdier, and therefore more likely to stand the test of time. This is clearly nonsense as all embryos start out neutral, only becoming clearly male or female at around 6 weeks!
5 I Can Feel Your Heartbeat
A common method of gender prediction is that of monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. It is said that at 130 (or 140, depending on which take your hear!) or higher, the baby is likely to be a girl, while 130 or 140 and lower shows that the child will be a boy. In fact, normal foetal heart rate is anything from 120 to 160 and there is no acknowledged difference between the heart rates of the sexes.
4 Cool Boys and Hot Girls
Some expectant mums find that their little bump is a regular thermostat, keeping them warm even in winter. Some old wives tales say that this is because they are carrying a girl. Boys are therefore said to keep mum cooler, sometimes even giving her cold hands and feet on a warm summer day. While temperature does have some part to play in deciding the sex of reptiles at least, there is little evidence to support this myth. It is more likely that the mother’s metabolism changes with the pregnancy than anything else!
3 Fat Dad!
A surprisingly common old wives’ tale is the one that says it is a boy if dad is gaining weight along with mum. Obviously, there can be no merit to this tale, and dad is probably gaining weight from the stress of becoming a father and helping his partner through the pregnancy! (Or he is taking advantage of her cravings for treats and snacks!)
2 Girls Make You Sick!
It is often said that severe and persistent morning sickness is a sign of carrying a girl. (There is another version that says sickness that occurs at any time of day is a sign of a boy). Doctors still do not know for sure why women get morning sickness, but it is, once again, down to those rampaging hormones that are changing and tweaking the woman’s body into a fit incubator for growing a whole new human and the levels of sickness have nothing to do with the sex of the child.
1 Play with Drano?
This is a fairly technical test that is said to reveal the sex of your unborn child. You will need some Drano (or any other strong cleaning fluid with the same ingredients) and some fresh urine from the mum-to-be. (Do this experiment out of doors or in a very well-ventilated space) Pour the urine into the cup of Drano and watch it closely. If the resulting mixture quickly goes brown and disgusting, you are said to be having a boy, whereas if there is no reaction for some ten seconds or more, then it is a girl. There is no explanation as to why this reaction should be different, and there are many anecdotes of this test failing and a girl popping out where a boy was predicted!
The best way to tell if you are having a boy or a girl is to attend your five month scan and let your doctor show you! All these tales and myths are fun, but should not be relied upon!