Team Green. Team Blue. Team Pink. All pregnant mamas fall into one of those three categories. Team Blue means a baby boy is on board, while Team Pink means a baby girl is on the way. Team Green is reserved for those mamas who either want to be surprised with the sex of their baby at the birth or those whose doctors couldn’t read the sonogram well enough to make a gender declaration.
However, before any parents have the chance for a sonographer to declare them as Team Pink or Team Blue, parents have about 20(ish) weeks of waiting impatiently to learn if their baby is Luke or Anna. And to think our parents and grandparents had to wait 40 weeks to learn the sex of their baby!
To help solve the riddle of the bun in the oven, many old wives’ tales have surfaced to help expectant parents pass the time during pregnancy. However, while some gender predictions sort of make sense (even if they aren’t always accurate), others are just downright goofy and make zero sense. Sorting through all of the gender prediction myths out there can get a little crazy, especially when Great Aunt Biddy keeps promising that all of her prediction methods always work. Here are 7 truths are about gender predictions and 7 falsehoods.
14Truth: They Will Be Right …
Gender prediction tests will be accurate … some of the time. Let’s break this down: for a singleton pregnancy, there can only be two options for the sex of the baby: boy or girl. So logically it makes sense that any gender prediction test will accurately predict the sex of the baby at least half of the time. I mean, there are only two options so any gender prediction test has a 50/50 shot of getting it right.
Of course, the flip side of this truth is that gender prediction tests do not have a 50/50 chance of being accurate for a multiples pregnancy. A twin pregnancy (or triplet or more) can have any combo of boy-boy, girl-girl, or boy-girl, and the more babies in utero just mean more combos. A gender test only predicts one gender so gender tests won’t do much for a mama carrying more than one baby.
13False: Girls Cause Hair And Nail Catastrophes
Here is a truth: pregnant mamas can experience hair and nail changes during pregnancy. Some women notice that they have fuller hair while some women find their hair to be more limp. And other women find that they have new hair growth in unwanted places. Grandma might tell you that baby boys cause mom’s hair to be full and thick while baby girls cause mom’s hair to be thin. However, this is just false.
Hair and nail changes in pregnancy are common and caused by – you guessed it – hormones. Hair can seem thicker since pregnant women shed their hair more slowly, but hair can also can seem limper thanks to extra oils produced (thanks again to hormones). Nails on the other hand can seem brittle if our body takes extra nutrients and gives them to the baby instead of things like our nails. The short answer: hair and nail changes are caused by hormones, not the gender of the baby.
12Truth: Blood Wins
Many old wives’ gender prediction methods involve urine. It sort of makes sense since your pee is the vehicle that actually tells you if you are pregnant or not, and that is why there are POAS addicts. However, despite the tall tales, many mamas-to-be, dump their pee into all sorts of crazy liquids like bleach or baking soda to see if their pee will reveal if Jimmy or Susie is on board.
The truth is that there is a bodily fluid that can predict your baby’s sex, but it’s not pee. The winner is blood. That sounds scary, and no, there isn’t any weird ritual involving blood. A simple 12 week blood test (the one used to screen for genetic issues) has the lovely perk of confirming (not predicting) whether baby is a boy or girl. So skip the pee tests and go for the blood.
11False: Morning Sickness Is Worse With A Girl
As I was in a continual state of morning sickness during my first pregnancy, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) kept telling me that I was for sure, 100%, absolutely, positively pregnant with a baby girl. After all, the old wives’ tales say that morning sickness is always worse when pregnant with baby girls.
Spoiler alert: I was pregnant with a boy. This myth is debunked because morning sickness has nothing to with baby’s gender and everything to do with mom’s hormones. In fact, up to 90% of expectant mamas battles some level of morning sickness. So if it’s not a baby girl making mom puke, what is to blame? You can blame human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the pregnancy hormone which is produced at high levels during the first trimester.
10Truth: Use Caution!
Finding out you are pregnant is totally exciting (and/or scary), and many moms-to-be have several questions from that first moment that stick shows us two pink lines. When is my due date? Is the baby a boy or girl? Finding out a due date is much quicker (thanks to internet due date calculators) and most moms don’t even have to wait for a doctor’s appointment to learn when baby will be coming. On the other hand, learning if baby is a boy or girl is not such an easy or quick answer.
Out of excitement, many moms will resort to doing crazy things to predict the gender, but guess what? Some of the old wives’ gender tests are actually really dangerous. Like mixing drano or bleach with their pee! Yes, some people actually do that. Call me Officer Safety, but pregnant moms shouldn’t be messing around with harsh chemicals like that, especially in a bathroom with limited ventilation.
9False: The Chinese Calendar
The ancient Chinese prediction calendar seems easy enough: simply look up the age you were when you conceived and the month you conceived and then voila you will know if baby is a boy or girl. However, this test is not rooted in any scientific theory and, while it may be fun, it just isn’t an accurate way to predict the gender.
The gender has 0% to do with mom’s age and 0% to do with the month that you did the baby dance. But science can tell us the one thing that actual does determine the gender of a baby. And that one thing is Dad’s swimmers. It’s all up to the Dad and whether an XY (boy) or XX (girl) sperm gets to the egg first. And of course, no calendar can tell us the results of that race.
8Truth: You May Be Disappointed
Disappoint in life is unavoidable and never pleasant. If you can avoid disappoint, then do so! Gender prediction kits and tests can (and often do) disappoint. I don’t mean disappointment in the sense that it said boy but you wanted a girl. I mean, you can be disappointed because you actually believe the answer the test revealed.
Think about it this way. Imagine you buy the pee kit test from the drug store. You take the test and it says “girl” so you paint the nursery pink and you buy everything pink. What happens when you actually have a boy? Of course, you’ll love him, but now you have to redo everything in the nursery and re-buy all of his clothes. Don’t place all your bets based on a gender prediction kit. (Even if the kit says it has a high success rate accurate.)
7False: Cravings That Reveal Gender
Pregnancy and cravings go together like peanut butter and jelly or pickles and ice cream. For all you guys out there reading this, pregnancy cravings are the real deal. Legit. Trust me, I ate Laughing Cow cheese like it was going out of style. While cravings may be real, any gender related interpretation behind the cravings is not so true. Some people swear that sweet cravings mean girl and salty cravings mean boy, but I am here to dispel that myth.
Research shows that cravings are actually influenced by certain nutrients that our body needs. Ice cream craving? Need more dairy. Craving a steak with a side of hamburger? Your body needs the protein. Even chocolate cravings are thought to be caused by low levels of magnesium.
Here’s another thought: maybe you are craving ice cream because you just like ice cream. Food for thought.
6Truth: Even Modern Tech Can Be Wrong
The harsh truth is that no test can be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. The truth is that even sonograms can be wrong, and if a modern piece of tech cannot have 100% accuracy rate, then neither can a silly old wives’ tale. There is always a window of error on any test; granted, some margins of error are much wider than others.
I’ve met more than a few moms of boys who thought they were about to have a little girl and vice versa. Babies can be sneaky and hide their bits during an ultrasound, making it very difficult to interpret. Babies can also move around a lot, making it hard to get a good glimpse during the ultrasound. Also, there is plain old human error to factor in; a ultrasound tech can have a bad day and simply misread the scans. It happens – not often – but it does happen.
5False: Areola Colors Predict Gender
Here is another myth that can be put to rest: darker nipples means a boy is on the way. This too is another gender predicting myth that is nothing more than myth.
The truth is that nipples (or to be more precise, the areola) does in fact change color during pregnancy, but the color change has nothing to do with the gender of the bun in the oven. Skin changes are common in pregnancy and include acne (oh joy!), the mask of pregnancy, linea negra, and darkening nipples. Mother Nature factored in this cool trick where the areolas darken so that a newborn nursing infant can see the nipple better. Think of it like a giant target. Why does this help? Research tells us that babies see contrasting colors better (hence the boom in black and white mobiles) so the contrast of the darker areola helps baby navigate towards food that much easier.
4Truth: They Are Fun
Sure, some of the tests are a bit dangerous (just say no to making bleach concoctions, okay?), and some of them are not even logical, but here’s another truth for you: they are fun. Pregnancy is a long, long 40 weeks that sometimes seems like it might actually last for 40 years. Between the nausea and the aches and pains, expectant moms need a little fun to help distract from the misery common pregnancy symptoms.
Making a list of gender tests and keeping tally of what each test predicts is a fun way to anticipate baby and pass the time. When I was pregnant with my first, I made a list of gender tests that I took and what the results were. My family studied the list and made friendly non-monetary bets on their best gender guess. The real, sonogram-based answer was revealed at the baby shower. My point is that it was all for fun, but no one bought any blue clothes until after the baby shower.
3False: More Urine Prophecies
Seriously, there are more prediction methods based on pee than anything else! The next false myth on our list is that bright yellow urine indicates a boy is on the way while pale yellow urine gives you the green light to paint the nursery pink.
But like many other pee-based predictions, this one fails the accuracy test. The color of anyone’s (male or female) urine is indicative of many health concerns (but not gender.) Dark urine often indicates dehydration while lighter pee can indicate that you are properly hydrated. Other colors (such as green, blue, or brown) can indicate serious health problems like infections. Doctors can also use urine samples to check sugar and protein levels of a pregnant mama, but rest assured that the yellow sample will not reveal boy or girl status.
2Truth: Ice Breaker
You want to a know a secret? Choosing a name for your baby is hard. First of all, you realize how many names you actually hate once you start envisioning each name as a potential name for your child. It’s like suddenly all names in the history of names are terrible. Add in the fact that you have to actually agree to a name with your partner and that just doubles the difficulty of the whole name-choosing process. It’s no wonder why so many couples don’t even begin to discuss names until they practically have to.
But… gender prediction kits are a good ice breaker into the whole name-your-child thing. It’s a nice way to ease into the conversation. “Hey hon, this magazine quiz says we’re going to have a girl. What girl names do you like?” It seems silly, but it might be the just silliness you need to add some fun into a potentially stressful naming convo.
1False: Dad’s Weight Gain Means Something
Some couples are so in tune with one other that they can finish each other’s thoughts or know what the other person is thinking. Some dads even joke that they gain “sympathy weight” when their partner is pregnant, and this phenomenon has been turned into a gender prediction: if dad gains weight, it’s a girl. If dad stays the same, it’s a boy.
First of all, dad’s weight gain cannot predict the sex of the baby because the sex was determined at the moment of conception. Second, sure dad might gain weight but who wouldn’t if mom was always kept hamburgers and ice cream in the house. Who wouldn’t want to dig in and join mom with that feast? Third, dad is in charge of his body, his weight, and his exercise rituals – and none of that has any effect on the baby.
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