After all those months of trying to conceive, you’re finally pregnant. There are lots of things to be excited about, including the gender of your baby.
You’ve probably heard stories from family or friends about accurately predicting whether their child is a boy or a girl. You probably heard that carrying low means you’re having a boy and having all-day morning sickness means your baby is a girl.
But do physical signs and symptoms really determine the sex of your baby? Even better, is it possible to really predict?
Is it a boy or girl?
Many myths abound on predicting your baby’s sex, ranging from somewhat reasonable to rather strange. For instance, you might have read about mixing urine with Drano to see whether you’re having a boy or girl based on the resulting color.
The Internet is partly to blame because a simple search can lead to lots of possible ways of determining the sex of your baby. Although they remain mostly myths, why are they still prevalent?
To be fair, at least some of them have been accurate leading others to believe it might be true. For instance, many say that if a baby’s heart rate is 140 beats per minute, then it must be a girl.
Although a study showed that there was no difference in fetal heart rate for either gender in the first trimester, there tends to be a difference further into the pregnancy. A study in 1999 showed that the heart rate of a female baby beat faster than that of a male child – a fact that some doctors have observed.
Old Wives’ Tales
To add to the confusion, there was a study conducted with mothers-to-be that showed those with 12 years of education or more were more accurate at predicting their baby’s gender. They based their prediction on dreams or feelings, and it turns out, they were right 71% of the time.
Other than studies, old wives tales have also been called upon to determine a baby’s gender. You’ve probably heard from a pregnant family member, or friend tell you about that time a clerk or some random stranger guess the sex of their baby.
Here are some of the most common old wives’ tales:
- Dangling a wedding ring over the pregnant belly. Some suggest using a string while others suggest using a strand of hair from the father. Whichever the case, what needs to be looked at is the direction of the swing. If it goes around in circles, you’re having a girl. In case it swings back and forth then it’s a boy.
- The pregnancy line or “linea nigra”. This is the dark line that runs from the pelvic bone, mid-abdomen, to the belly button or even further in some pregnant women. If that line runs to the belly button, you’re carrying a girl, but if it runs a bit further into the xyphoid (the bottom part of the rib cage), then you’re having a boy.
- The “beauty” factor. You’re going to have a boy if you look really pretty during your pregnancy. Otherwise, you are having a girl because she is stealing your beauty. But some versions of this that tell the opposite.
Determining Baby Gender the Fun Way
Pregnancy is a nine-month journey and who says you can’t have a bit of fun? One of the methods you can try is using a Chinese Birth Chart.
There are many versions of this chart on the internet and all you need to do to find one is a simple search. It works by taking your age during conception and the month when you had sex. You can then find out the sex of your baby just based on that information.
Or, you can do the Drano Test. Basically; you just stir that stuff into your urine. You’re going to have a boy if that mixture turns green. But even those who advocate for this method can’t agree on the exact color; shades other than green have also been suggested.
Determining Baby Gender with Certainty
At around 18-20 weeks, around four-and-a-half to five months), doctors can tell whether you’re having a boy or a girl through an ultrasound. Although it’s an accurate method, it still largely depends on the position of your baby. It’s a lot easier to determine if it’s a boy for obvious visible reasons.
Another accurate method is amniocentesis which checks the chromosomes of the baby. This is a test performed on mothers-to-be who are 35 years or older to check for genetic issues. It’s done around 16 weeks but poses some risks because it’s an invasive procedure.
Chorionic villus sampling or CVS is another way to look at the chromosomes of your baby. This is done during the first trimester to check for issues, but it is rarely used.
Knowing the sex of your baby gives you an idea of which color to purchase items in or the color palette to use for the baby’s room. But even with medical technology, gender determination can still hit a snag. The best case scenario is to stick with gender neutral tones or stick to a color of your choosing – it doesn’t have to be blue or pink strictly.