Can You Tell the Sex of a Baby by How the Mother Is Carrying?

By: Julia Layton & Francisco Guzman  | 

Drano and Other Pregnancy Predictors

There are as many old wives' tales about pregnancy as there are days a baby can be born. Here are nine of the best ones:

  • If you suspend a gold ring over a pregnant belly, it swings back and forth, it's a boy. If it moves in a circle, it's a girl. (This one is told either way, actually.)
  • If the fetal heart rate averages between 110 to low 130s beats per minute (bpm), it's a boy. If it's in the mid-140s to 160 range, it's a girl. (Actually, the baby's heart rate fluctuates throughout the pregnancy, and the rate is unrelated to gender.)
  • If someone pours Drano into a pregnant woman's urine and it turns bluish-green, it's a boy; if it turns brownish, it's a girl. No scientific proof this works but if you're going to try this test do it in a well-ventilated area as mixing the two items can produce toxic fumes.
  • 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.)
  • If the father gains weight during the gestation period, it's a girl. (Fathers often gain weight during pregnancy, regardless of the baby's sex).
  • If a woman gets more acne with the pregnancy, it's a girl. More of that "stealing Mom's beauty" stuff.
  • If there's more severe first-trimester morning sickness, it's a girl. The studies actually are conflicting.
  • 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. Actually, length has nothing to do with the baby's gender.
  • If the mother-to-be's left breast grows larger than the right breast, it's a girl. A study showed that women who carried a boy had somewhat larger breasts than women who carried a girl, but the difference was not significant. And both breasts were symmetrical.

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.


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