It can be a long nine months waiting to find out if it's going to be a boy or a girl, especially if baby is being uncooperative at the 20 week scan. Ordinarily, most parents-to-be will be asked, when having an ultrasound, if they would like to find out the sex of their growing baby. It is normally possible to tell the gender from a scan after 16 weeks, sometimes earlier, at 12 weeks, if the nub theory is used. But of course, many little babies are not accommodating and don't let the sonographer have a good enough look to see if they are a boy or a girl. It can be disappointing to leave a scan with an uncertain gender in mind, especially if you were very keen to know the sex.
There are, however, other ways to find out if you are having a boy or a girl. Many consider these methods to be old wives tales. We shouldn't rely completely on their use in predicting gender as they are unreliable, but they can be fun to do. I know in my case, many of them were true and rightly predicted both my girls.
In fact, just this month, scientists have discovered that a woman's immunity plays quite a large part in determining the gender of her unborn child. Many women experience pregnancy differently depending on whether they are carrying a boy or a girl. Symptoms such as nausea or certain cravings can give you an inkling about whether you should be searching for a boys or girls name. Researchers have determined that a woman's immune responses play a role in establishing whether they are having a boy or girl.
Postdoctoral researcher, Amanda Mitchell says "This research helps women and their obstetricians recognize that fetal sex is one factor that may impact how a woman's body responds to everyday immune challenges."
So while, many would say that these are old wives tales, we now have evidence that suggests our bodies do in fact react differently to pregnancy depending on whether it's a boy or girl. There seems to always be some level of truth to old wives tales but let's not celebrate just yet unless a scan or blood test reveals the gender for certain!
Morning sickness has long been considered to be a significant sign as to whether you are having a boy or a girl. It's often believed that if you suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, extreme morning sickness, then you are having a girl. While there are always exceptions to this rule, several scientists have thoroughly researched this phenomenon and have backed up the claim. It would appear that the hormones produced by a baby girl during pregnancy can make moms feel overly nauseated with a higher level of sickness throughout the pregnancy in comparison to baby boys.
Severe morning sickness in the first trimester is often considered an indicator of a baby girl. However, don't rush out to buy pale blue onesies just yet as this method of predicting a baby's gender is not fool proof. There are many women who suffered morning sickness at the beginning for it to taper off and come back again and they ended up having beautiful baby boys.
But let me tell you, I had severe morning sickness on both my girls. The first lasted the entire nine months and the second five months. So, I believe in this one!
Do you have a dark line reaching down over your belly bump? This dark line is called the Linea Nigra and is a very common symptom of pregnancy. They say that if this line reaches from your navel to your pubic bone, then you are having a girl. If it reaches above your navel, and travels from your pubic bone to under your rib cage, then you are having a boy.
I'll be honest, on both my girls, I didn't have a Linea Nigra at all. Sporting no line along my bump meant I would have been left in the dark about my girls' gender if this was the only method to predict your baby's sex. So, while this is a cute way to try and predict the gender, it's most certainly not fool proof.
The theory behind using the fetal heart rate as a way to predict the gender of your baby states that if the heart rate is above 140 beats per minute (BPM) then you are likely to have a girl. If it's under 140BPM then you're considered to having a boy. This prediction method is harmless to try and also quite easy. At your next ante-natal appointment, simply count the number of beats or ask your midwife or doctor how many beats per minute they can hear.
There is no existing evidence that proves this method works however and I for one am a little dubious. Before my first baby was born, I was attached to the trace machine monitoring my baby's heartbeat for quite a few hours. Her heart rate was fairly low, never reaching above the golden line of 140BPM, despite her being in no danger or stress. Take what you will from this one, but I wouldn't use it as a reliable method of prediction since it didn't work for me.
This old wives tale says that if you're carrying low or down in the front then you are having a boy and if you're carrying high and appear wide in the middle then it's more than likely a girl. Equally, if you're bump is neat, and all of your pregnancy weight is around your waist, then this indicates a girl.
I carried high on both my girls and was relatively neat, so this one worked for me. But is this due to my petite stature and good posture or a genuine way to determine if someone is having a boy or a girl? More often than not, the muscle structure around your waist has a tendency to determine how your bump will look. Pregnancy results in your muscles relaxing as your body expands to accommodate your growing baby. The softer and weaker your muscles are, the more likely your bump is to hang lower. Bear in mind, that the more pregnancies you have the more elastic your muscles become, so on your third pregnancy you may notice your bump hangs that little bit lower.
We all know that during pregnancy we are eating for two, but is it a boy or a girl? They say that if you find yourself reaching into the pantry or raiding the fridge like a teenage boy home from college for the holidays then you may in fact be expecting a boy. Research suggests that moms-to-be often carrying boys ten to eat more than their counter parts who are carrying girls.
This indeed could be related to the level of testosterone which is surging through your pregnant body. Baby boys, even in the womb, may need more energy resulting in an increased appetite for the mother. As a result, baby boys tend to heavier at birth than baby girls.
Ordinarily, I eat like a rabbit so any increase in appetite was an oddity to me.
And on that note of increased appetite, just what exactly are you craving? As the old rhyme goes "Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails, That's what little boys are made of. Sugar and spice and all things nice, That's what little girls are made of." Pregnancy cravings can have an indication as to whether you are carrying a boy or girl. They say that if you crave salty foods like potato chips, popcorn and pretzels then you are carrying a boy. If your sweet tooth has come into full effect then it's a girl.
Your body has a way of getting you to eat the foods it needs you to eat and more so in pregnancy as your cravings can be completely uncharacteristic to what you would normally eat. Some also say that pregnancy hormones change how certain foods taste and smell to you during pregnancy meaning something you would never have touched before all of a sudden is very appealing.
I don't have a huge sweet tooth but on both my girls, jellies and sugar were my vice!
Pregnancy hormones have an awful lot to answer for when it comes to feeling moody during those nine months. Hormones are playing absolute havoc with your emotions. One minute your laughing, and the next you are crying for absolutely no reason which only makes you cry worse and harder.
Strong emotional mood swings is thought to mean that you're having a girl. In my case, yes this was another pregnancy symptom that easily predicted my baby's gender. But waiting for your newborn and planning for life ahead with a growing family is a very emotional time in a persons life. No wonder mood swings are unpredictable.
However, they do say that if you have more mood swings and emotional outbursts during those nine months then you are more than likely having a baby girl.
Apparently, keeping a close eye on your breasts during pregnancy is a sure fire way to predict the gender of your baby. Naturally, your breasts will get bigger to some extent during pregnancy as your body prepares for the impending arrival of your baby and gets ready for breastfeeding. It's claimed that the amount of testosterone released from your growing baby will have an effect on the size of your bosom. The less testosterone the less your breasts will grow as the hormone will damper your growth. This, of course, indicates that you are more than likely due a baby boy.
Also, bear in mind that, they say if your areola's become darker during pregnancy then you are more than likely carrying a boy.
And of course, according to the old wives tale, as your breasts change shape due to the natural injection of additional hormones to your body, they say that if one breast grows larger than the other then you are having a girl. But of course, only if it's the left breast! If the right breast is bigger than the left than it's a boy.
It's unknown where this pregnancy prediction method came from but I think it's safe to say that we can all be a little dubious about this one. Besides that, it's often quite common for women to have one breast larger than the other. As your breasts prepare themselves for lactation and go up a cup size or two then it's only natural for them to change based on the size and shape of your breasts before pregnancy.
Are you suffering from more acne than normal? Apparently, acne during pregnancy can indicate that you are carrying a girl. On occasion, acne can occur during the first trimester as your body is flushed with extra hormones which take over. These extra hormones do our skin no good and it's relatively common for pregnant women to feel like they are reliving their teenage years reaching for the concealer to cover up those flaring spots.
In comparison, if you have a perfect complexion with glowing skin, then this could indicate that you are having a boy.
On both my girls, I suffered frustrating acne on my face, neck and back which cleared up in the second trimester and brought me back to that glowing pregnancy state with strong hair and nails and beautiful skin. I'll admit, I was glad this pregnancy symptom didn't last too long as it was worse than when I was in my teens and early twenties! But it also rightly predicted that I was carrying girls.
They say that if your body hair is growing quicker than normal then you are more than likely carrying a boy. So, if you have to shave more often, which let's face it is a nightmare and almost impossible to do the further along your pregnancy you get, then start hunting for all things blue. If your hair growth is lower or hasn't changed at all, then it's possible that a girl is coming your way.
The same can be said if your hair becomes thick and glossy and the envy of every other woman in the office, then it's a boy. And also if your nails are thick and strong. The reason behind using this method of predicting gender comes from the fact that pregnant women carry more estrogen, progesterone and testosterone during pregnancy than they normally would and so the result often appears in hair growth, or lack there off. The extra testosterone, influencing hair and nail growth, can indicate that you are carrying a boy due to the male hormone. Or so they say.
I can't say if I can recall quicker or slower hair growth on my two girls. I will definitely keep an eye out for this symptom on my next one!
Becoming more clumsy in pregnancy is often a given during pregnancy as our centre of balance is thrown off cue with our burgeoning belly bump. I for one have dropped, tripped and slipped so often during my pregnancies that I stopped making excuses or apologising for it. Throw pregnancy exhaustion, hormonal changes and baby brain into the mix and clumsiness can become your new best friend.
They say that a heightened level of clumsiness however can also be an indicator that you are having a boy. The explanation and reasoning behind this one is very unclear and I'll be honest, I'm not too sure how they came up with this one!
I am clumsy by nature so I really couldn't use this one as a valid gender prediction test on my two!
Dry skin during pregnancy is a common complaint and pregnancy symptom. But did you know that this can also be an indicator as to whether you are carrying a boy or a girl. The effect pregnancy has on your skin occurs due to our old friend, hormonal changes. In addition, the changes to your eating habits can also have an effect on your skin changes.
Throughout pregnancy your body goes through incredible changes as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby. Some say that dry skin can indicate that you are having a boy. Whereas soft and supple skin could mean you are having a girl.
Admittedly, for me, I suffered dry skin on both my girls so this one didn't ring true for me. On the other hand, perhaps I was simply dehydrated!
While many of us suffer with dreaded cold feet even on the sunniest of days, if you find that your feet are more insufferably colder now during pregnancy then it may suggest that you are having a boy. If your feet are lovely and toasty and as warm as ever then you may be having a girl.
It's completely unknown how this method of predicting gender in pregnancy started doing the rounds. Like all gender predicting methods it has its followers and some swear by its accuracy.
I have cold feet all year round but I did notice that I uncharacteristically enjoyed wearing flip flips and sandals in the Summer months when pregnant on both of my girls.
Many believe that the colour of a pregnant woman's urine can correctly predict the gender of her child. They say that dull coloured urine predicts a girl while a bright colour indicates a baby boy. Generally, the colour of a persons urine is determined by how much liquid they drink throughout the day. The more liquid they drink the lighter the colour. I think it's safe to assume that this method of predicting gender is one for the comic books. Let's move on!
Headaches in pregnancy are an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy which, if you never suffered headaches on a routine basis before, can be very difficult to deal with. They say that headaches can also accurately predict the gender of your baby. If you suffer headaches during pregnancy then you are likely to be carrying a boy. Headache and throbbing temples free? Then it very well could be a girl.
Headaches can be a result of surging pregnancy hormones and an increase in blood volume. They can especially be more common in the first trimester.
As a long time migraine sufferer, I was over the moon when my migraines and headaches completely stopped as soon as I became pregnant on my first baby girl However, on my second daughter, the headaches came back with a vengeance. So, this prediction method was literally 50/50 for me.
Sources: Brain, Behaviour and Immunity