While that twenty-week ultrasound can provide a huge sneak peek into one aspect of the future baby’s identity (at least, until they are old enough to say otherwise and demand to be introduced as their Royal Highness Kitty-Cat Dinosaur), but everything else is pretty much up in the air waiting to be revealed after baby’s grand entrance into the world. There are some old wives’ tales that claim to predict personality traits.
Being pregnant and waiting to meet the child with copious amounts of ice cream and pizza (maybe a few vegetables and some smoothies in there too) is like waiting to meet a one true love at the airport. Moms have their itinerary, they know more or less when the baby is supposed to arrive and they probably know the baby's name but don’t know what they look like, what their personality is like or even if they will really truly actually like them. All of that uncertainty can be very stressful, resulting in some Netflix and chocolate binges or intense Google searches to help moms uncover the slightest clue as to the person they are carrying.
At the very least, some of the misconceptions about what mom's pregnancy symptoms say about the baby can occupy some time while mom waits.
19 Heartburn, Oh My!
We’ll start with a classic. All that heartburn we get in the third trimester might mean we are in for a very hairy baby. Some women have tons of heartburn and end up with a bald baby while others have no heartburn and give birth to Chewbacca. But in general, heartburn equals hair in the pregnancy mythology realm.
Having a hairy baby might not be much of a priority but at least we can put pink bows in our girl’s hair. According to CBS, “Well, a study done at Johns Hopkins, published in the journal Birth, found that there is a correlation between severity of heartburn and the hairiness of a newborn.”
18 All The Cravings
Pregnancy is known for lots of intense and varied cravings that can change by the day or even the hour. Keeping track of them can be difficult or a fun hobby if we are really bored. If we happen to notice a trend in the cravings such as sweet versus salty and sour, then we might get a clue as to baby’s gender early.
As per Smart Parents, “If you’re constantly munching on cupcakes and candy, you’re thinking of sugar and spice and all things nice―yes, you’re likely to be carrying a girl!”
Everyone knows that girls are sugar sweet compared to boys.
17 Watch What You Eat
Pregnancy is in its very own special diet category where we can eat almost as much as we want but have to eliminate some things like adult beverages and certain foods that may cause foodborne illnesses. A man on this diet probably wouldn’t last too long.
At least it’s only nine months. Some women believe that their diet can influence baby’s future eating habits—ranging from allergies to pickiness. That could explain why the toddler only eats pizza and ice cream. As The Guardian puts it, “We also reveal superstitious tendencies when considering the impact of a pregnancy diet on the child's eating habits.”
16 How We Carry Matters?
Every pregnant woman has had at least one person come up to her, pat her bump and say confidently, “Oh, you’re going to have a girl; you’re so round!” Or the opposite, “You’re carrying low, you’re going to have a boy!”
As thoughtful as these people are trying to be, it can get a little annoying. But according to Smart Parents, there is a reason for the madness. “Well, according to ‘legend’, if you’re carrying a boy, your bump will be lower and pointier, or closer to the pelvis and protruding out front. If you’re carrying a girl, your bump is said to be high (perhaps right under your breast), round and wide.”
15 A Baby To Snuggle This Winter
Astrology aside, there are other ways to predict a baby’s personality. Using the seasons and month of birth as well as prenatal and postnatal exposure to things like sunshine and germs, people draw conclusions about baby’s potential personality.
A winter baby could be more prone to allergies due to lack of Vitamin D and exposure to mom’s colds during pregnancy. As Mom 365 put it, “According to these studies, certain seasonal traits like temperature, exposure to sunshine, access to particular seasonal foods and bouts of winter infections can all influence the development of a fetus. Some of the claims make sense–I can see how a vitamin D deficiency in winter-born babies could lead to allergies...”
14 No More Morning Sickness
The few lucky women who have little or no morning sickness during their pregnancies are much more likely to produce a male baby, according to the old wives’ tales.
There is some scientific backing to this as the hormones used to create a girl can make mama feel sicker than a woman carrying a boy, but not everyone follows this rule—including many celebrities who have severe morning sickness and have been vocal about it.
According to Smart Parents, “Many believe that if an expectant mum does not have morning sickness in the first trimester, she’s likely to have a boy.”
13 Hiccups Down Below
This is an older myth from the depths of ancient lore but apparently if mama hiccups constantly during her pregnancy, she will produce a hairy baby. Obviously, the heartburn side of this coin became much more popular (especially since it was proven true) but everyone who has frequent hiccups wants to know why they are having so many and this is a nice (ish) way to explain them to our poor pregnant friends.
As Mom 365 notes, “When you’re pregnant, it’s hard to resist anything that says it can predict what kind of child you’ll end up with.”
12 Looking Good Or Not
Acne isn’t something we generally associate with pregnancy but when we do get it during pregnancy, we get it hard and people start to talk—speculating about whether or not we will have a boy or girl baby based solely on our looks.
For all they know, it’s just a bad hair and makeup day for us. According to Smart Parents, “If people constantly come up to you to tell you how great your hair and skin look while you’re preggers, you’re probably expecting a boy! If your hair is greasy, and your skin is breaking out, the belief is that it’s a daughter who is ‘stealing’ your beauty.”
11 Let's Get Physical
Every mama wants to feel those first fluttery baby kicks once she finds out she’s expecting. By the time we are due, many of us are probably longing to hold the baby and get a break from all the vicious rib kicks. When we tell people how active baby is, some of them might give us a weird look and pronounce an active or even difficult child will follow.
Not exactly the kind of news we’d like to receive at this point. As per New Scientist, “So what about my obstetrician’s suggestion that an active fetus equals a boisterous child? Although there may be some truth to this, published findings have been inconsistent.”
10 Dry As A Desert
We are told to slather ourselves in lotions, oils, and creams to help prevent stretch marks. All of that sounds like a great spa-day-at-home kind of thing, but it won’t necessarily prevent those pesky stretch marks. It will help with any dry skin we are experiencing. According to Mom Junction, “Drying and cracking of hands are another viable symptoms of carrying a baby boy.”
It could also just be the fact that its winter, we wash our hands a lot or we just naturally have dry skin. At any rate, some lotion should help with the dryness and make us feel a little pampered.
9 Put Some Spring In Your Step
Remember those seasons and how they could affect the baby which we mentioned earlier? Well, if we are due for a spring baby we’d better be prepared to have a tall one. As per the LA Times, “People born in spring tend to be taller, according to Gerhard Weber, an anthropologist at the University of Vienna. Analyzing Austrian Federal Army measurements of more than half a million men, he found that the tallest recruits were born in April, the shortest in October.”
Genetics play a strong role in height but it could be nice to think that seasons have a role in it too, somewhere at least.
8 No Chocolate Allowed!
Some of those intense pregnancy cravings can involve delicious dark delicacies like chocolate, coffee, dates and other yummy things too delicious to mention before lunch. But some cultures will limit those treats for pregnant women, believing that they will cause the baby to come out with dark spots.
According to The Guardian, “In cultures where a premium is put on a fair complexion, there are prohibitions on dark colored foods (coffee, chocolate, dates) and these foods also stand accused of causing dark pigmentation spots.” They instead consume a diet of light things like milk and yogurt. Not nearly as good as chocolate.
7 Follow The Line
Our bodies go through an incredible amount of change during pregnancy. Some of the changes make sense such as our uterus expanding and our hips widening, while others can leave us scratching our heads. Take that dark vertical line down our expanded bellies for example.
What is up with that? According to Smart Parents, “A large number of pregnant women have a dark line appearing vertically down your belly, known as linea nigra. According to lore, if the line goes all the way up beyond your belly button, you’re carrying a boy. If it stops below your belly button, you’re having a girl.”
This one is definitely a thing of myths since all women have this line, known as the linea alba, and it only darkens when progesterone reacts with melanin in the bodies of women who have a good bit of the latter hormone.
6 Ah, The Joys Of A Summer Baby
So we had the baby and baby just won’t sleep. She stays up all night and sleeps during the day. This habit persists until she’s considerably older and earns the title of a night owl. If the baby was born during the summer, there is a strong chance that she is, in fact, a night owl.
According to LA Times, “If someone genetically predisposed to being an evening type is born during summer, he will become an extreme evening type, but if he's born in winter, he will end somewhere in between an evening and a morning type.” We’re going to lose a lot of sleep with this one.
5 Mama Knows Best
When we are pregnant, hormones tend to take over and change almost literally everything, including our personalities. We might be super sweet and nice all the time or confrontational and aggressive during pregnancy, then flip the complete opposite once we give birth. These personality changes in us could indict whether we are having a boy or a girl.
As per Mom Junction, “Women with aggressive, bold and dominant nature are more likely to bear a baby boy, and the behavioral aspect is associated with increased levels of testosterone.” Whether or not this is true remains to be seen by most of us.
4 Oh So Mischievous
Some cultures have interesting legends and lore while others have some that leave us in America scratching our heads and wondering how that came about. The Guardian notes, “There's the Romany Gypsy belief that eating snails will mean your child will be slow in learning to walk, eating snake will produce a child which can't walk or talk (Guyana), and some in China believe that eating crab will produce a mischievous child.”
So if it’s mischief we are after, better hope it is crab season and stock up. At least crab tastes good and is generally considered to be safe to consume during pregnancy.
3 Hands Where We Can See Them!
Another old wives’ tale for predicting baby’s gender involves our hands and how we present them to people when they ask to see our hands. Apparently, this simple little action can decide whether or not we have a pink themed party or a blue themed one. According to Mom, “If you extend your hands palms up, you’ll have a girl, while if you extend your hands down, then prepare for a boy.”
This could simply be our habit in how we present our hands but it keeps people around us occupied for a few minutes and our hands are already out so they might not touch the bump.
2 Falling For An Autumn Baby
If our baby is due to be born in the fall, there is a strong chance that he will live a very long life compared to the rest of us. Genetics play a role in this but it’s comforting to think of our baby making history someday by being a hundred years old.
The LA Times says, “A 2011 report in the Journal of Aging Research compared months of the birth of 1,574 U.S. centenarians—people who have lived to 100 or beyond—and those of their spouses, brothers, and sisters. Siblings of centenarians born in September to November have 30 to 50% higher chances to live to 100 years compared to those born in March.”
1 That's One Moody Mama
Along with cravings, changes, weird lines down our bellies and people touching us, we also have to deal with mood swings during pregnancy.
One old wives’ tale says that the moodier we are, the more likely it is that we will have a girl baby due to having twice as many “female hormones” coursing through our body than usual.
According to The Conversation, “There’s a lay belief that when pregnant with a girl, maternal estrogen levels are higher, but this is not backed up by most studies.” At least it gives us a reason for our mood swings and ice cream binges in the middle of the night.