There are as many old wives' tales about pregnancy as there are days a baby can be born. Here are 10 of the best ones:
- If, when you suspend and swing a gold ring over a pregnant belly, it moves side to side, it's a boy. If it moves in a circle, it's a girl [source: WebMD]. (This one is told either way, actually.)
- If the fetal heart rate is above 140 beats per minute (bpm), it's a girl. If it's below 140 bpm, it's a boy. (Actually, the baby's heart rate fluctuates throughout the pregnancy, and the rate is unrelated to gender [source: KidsHealth].)
- While a pregnant woman should not handle Drano at all, if someone else wants to, the myth goes: If you pour Drano into a pregnant woman's urine and it turns green, brown, black or blue, it's a boy; if it turns red or yellow or there's no color change, it's a girl [source: LTK].
- A woman who gets prettier while pregnant is carrying a boy; a woman who gets uglier is having a girl. (The idea appears to be that the girl is stealing some of the mother's beauty [source: WebMD].)
- If the father gains weight during the gestation period, it's a girl [source: IntelliGender].
- If a woman gets more acne with the pregnancy, it's a girl [source: IntelliGender].
- When a pregnant woman dreams about cigars or snakes, she's carrying a boy; if she dreams of keyholes and Vogue, it's a girl (well, obviously) [source: IntelliGender].
- If there's no first-trimester morning sickness, it's a boy [source: IntelliGender].
- If the linea nigra (a dark line that often appears running up the center of a pregnant belly) stops at the belly button, it's a girl; if it extends to the rib cage, it's a boy [source: WebMD].
- If the left breast grows larger than the right breast, it's a girl [source: IntelliGender].
While none of these methods is going to predict a baby's gender with anything greater than 50/50 accuracy, it can be fun to experiment. The only fool-proof way to know the gender of a fetus is via amniocentesis or ultrasound.
And even ultrasound can fail if the fetus has his or her legs crossed.
For more information on pregnancy myths and related topics, look over the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Does sucking your thumb really ruin your teeth?
- Does stress really make your hair go gray faster?
- Will an apple a day really keep the doctor away?
- Is eating bread crust really good for you?
- 5 Old Wives' Tales about Your Health
- If you step on a rusty nail will you really get tetanus?
- Should you really starve a fever?
- Is it true that if you do anything for three weeks it will become a habit?
- Gender Myths. IntelliGender.http://www.intelligender.com/pages.php?pageid=27
- Berman, Judy. "Is it a boy, a girl ... or a hoax?" Salon. June 9, 2009.http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/06/09/intelligender/
- Popular Pregnancy Myths: Gender Prediction. BabyZone.http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/photos_Popular_Pregnancy_Myths
- Predicting Your Baby's Sex. WebMD.http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/predicting-your-babys-sex
- Kingston, Genevieve. "High for a girl, low for a boy? The truth about your bump." UK Family.http://ukfamily.co.uk/ages-stages/pregnancy-birth/your-pregnancy/whats-happening/boy-or-girl.html
- Pregnancy Myths and Tales. KidHealth.http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_newborn/pregnancy/myths_tales.html#