Boy or Girl?
Thanks to technological advancements and lots of clever scientists, it’s not that difficult to find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl.
Your sonographer should be able to tell you with some certainty (although not 100%) at your 20 week scan, assuming your baby's genitals are in a viewable position.
Genetic testing is the only way to know for sure. It is only offered to couples considered to be at high risk of genetic abnormalities, because some of the methods carry a risk of miscarriage.
Before these high tech options were available, couples had to rely on old wives’ tales to try to guess what sex their baby was. Of course, there is always a 50% chance of getting it right, but these ‘ways to tell’ have been passed down through generations.
You can hardly make it down the street without people stopping you to tell you what you’re having, and how they know. You’ve probably already heard them all, especially if you’ve decided not to find out your baby’s sex before the birth. These aren’t scientific predictions, so they probably won’t be accurate – but they might be fun:
#1: The Linea Nigra
That ‘dark line' that has appeared on your bump is apparently the key to working out whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl. Rumour has it that if the line continues above your belly button, you’re having a boy. If it finishes below your belly button, you have a girl bun in your oven.
#2: Carrying High Or Low
This is one old wives’ tale you won’t be able to get through pregnancy without hearing. In fact, you’ll probably be utterly sick of hearing it by the time you reach your estimated due date. People just love to comment on baby bumps, don’t they? According to legend, if your bump is high, you’re pregnant with a girl. If your bump sits low, you’ll be welcoming a boy.
#3: The Feel Of Your Skin
Carrying a boy is said to give you dry skin, so if you’re enjoying silky smooth skin, you could be expecting a little girl.
#4: It’s All In The Heart
According to age old nonsense, your baby’s heart rate can be used to predict the gender. Apparently, girls have faster heartbeats than boys. Above 140 ppm means you’re having a girl, and lower than 140 bpm means it’s a boy. Perhaps 140 ppm exactly means it’s an alien, or a puppy, who knows? But because it’s all nonsense anyway, I wouldn’t worry about it.
#5: Truth Or Hair
It’s all in the hair, apparently. If your hair becomes thick and glossy, and you can’t make it down the street without being stopped by a modelling scout, you’re carrying a boy. If your hair is so dull and limp that you look like you’ve been without running water for quite some time, it’s a girl.
Similarly, your body hair is thought to provide a clue too. If your body hair is growing thick and fast, you’re said to be having a boy. If your hair growth has remained normal (don’t be too smug, you’ll still be way hairier than usual because shaving your legs while heavily pregnant is basically impossible), there might be a girl nestled in your womb.
#6: No Time To Weight
If the thought of waiting until the birth to find out the sex of your baby is getting you down, worry no more! Simply pay attention to your pregnancy weight gain. According to an old wives’ tale, if you’re carrying all of your extra weight out front, it’s a boy. If those pregnancy pounds are piling on all over, you might be expecting a daughter.
#7: It’s All About The Taste
Some people believe your cravings provide clues as to the sex of your unborn child. Thinking of sugar and spice, and all things nice, it’s common sense that sweet cravings mean you’re carrying a girl. Fruit, chocolate and desserts all hint that the stork might be bringing you a daughter. Salty or sour foods could be an indication that you’re carrying a son. If you’re drooling at the thought of crisps and pretzels, there might be a boy beneath that bump.
#8: The Ring
This old wives’ tale is so old it uses a wedding ring. For a modern version, you might prefer another ring, needle or pin. Yank out a strand of your hair, and attach the ring (or whatever you choose) to it. Lie yourself down and dangle the ring over your bump. If the ring starts to move in circles, you’re having a boy. If it sways from side to side like a pendulum, you’re going to have a daughter.
#9: Having A Barf
If you were wondering what good could possibly come from all-the-time sickness (calling it ‘morning' sickness is clearly an issue for Trading Standards), here it is. It’s a way of predicting the sex of your unborn child. If you had your head in the toilet bowl for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, you’re having a girl. If you escaped without that daily vom, legend predicts you will have a baby boy.
#10: No Easy Feet
Those extremities are also said to be useful in the quest for gender predictions. If you are suffering from a bad case of the cold feet now that you’re pregnant, you might be expecting a boy. If your feet are as warm as ever, you might be carrying a girl.
#11: Ready To Glow?
The old wives of days gone by thought it was possible to predict the sex of the baby based on how the mother looked. If people are queuing up to tell you just how beautiful, glowing and blooming you are now that you’re knocked up, you could be carrying a boy. If people are looking at you with worried eyes and asking if you’re feeling okay, it’s probably a daughter zapping the life out of your feeble body.
#12: A Big Boob
It might not often be talked about in polite society, but it’s common to have one breast bigger than the other. Take a look in the mirror: if your right breast is bigger, you might be having a son. If your left is larger, it could be a little girl in your uterus.
#13: All Encompassing
One of the more ridiculous tales is that the direction your pillow faces can be used to predict the sex of your developing baby. If your pillow faces north, it’s a boy. If it faces south, it’s a girl. If it points east or west, the test is inconclusive. Please try again later (once you’ve rearranged your room to give you the answer you most want).
#14: Spot On
According to ancient wisdom, acne during pregnancy hints that you’re having a girl. A perfect complexion could be a sign that you’re expecting a boy.
#15: Urine Need Of This Test
Take a look at your wee (glamorous, right?). If it’s bright you could be carrying a girl. If your urine is dull or clear, it might be a baby boy hiding in your uterus.
#16: Ball About The Bump
This one is quite niche. If folks keep stopping you, to comment on how closely your bump resembles a basketball, you’re having a boy. If basketball players keep trying to dribble off with your bump, you could be expecting a girl.
All of the above methods are nonsense, but fun. Well, fun if it’s you doing them, not so much if it’s every stranger you pass in the street. Especially if they’re pointing out things like, “Oooh, I think it’s a boy because you have a beard,” or “You look terrible, you must be having a girl.” Remember, you have a 50% chance of getting it right, anyway.