TRUTH IN OLD WIVES’ TALES ABOUT GENDER PREDICTION? (APPARENTLY, YES!)

The second most exciting time after the confirmation of a pregnancy ( and before the arrival of a bouncing baby and the lovely smells it brings with him/herself) is gender anticipation! People love to predict what gender the baby will be, and this isn’t a prediction game that is new to the times. After all, the odds ( 50% either way) are way better than any other odds offered! Old wives have predicted the sex of the new born many, many times, and more often than not, they are on spot! Although some may put it down to experience and intuition, medical science has recently ventured into the realm of the lesser-known art of accurate gender prediction before an ultrasound can do so for you anyway ( 90% of the times, at least), and many of the old tales hold to be true! We address a few of them in this article, but for an accurate assessment of the gender of your new bundle of joy, wait for them to make their way into this world before committing whole heartedly to your favorite name!

Chinese gender charts
Legend says that the Chinese gender charts are over 700 years old and over 90% correct if used correctly. The gender of your baby is predicted based on the month of conception and the mother’s birthday – both expressed as dates in the Chinese lunar calendar. 90% correct seems like a big claim but anecdotally, many mothers who have used these charts during pregnancy enthusiastically swear by their accuracy.

Baby’s heart rate
This gender prediction theory says that girls and boys have different heart rates in the womb – a baby with a heart beat under 140 beats a minute is a boy, and a baby with 140 or over beats a minute is a girl. An easy method to divine the sex of your baby, but one that sadly lacks any scientific evidence. In fact, a study has proven conclusively that there is no correlation between the gender of your baby and its heart rate.

Wedding ring test
This test involves threading a wedding ring onto a thread or piece of hair. Hold the dangling ring over the pregnant belly of mum-to-be while she is lying down. If the ring swings back and forth like a pendulum, she is carrying a boy. If the ring swings in a strong circular motion, she is carrying a girl. No hard science supports this test beyond wishful thinking!

Draino gender test
Although this test has been around forever, it is NOT recommended that pregnant women do it because of the toxic fumes that result (and the environment doesn’t love it either). The test involves combining crystal Draino with a small amount of the mum-to-be’s urine in a jar. There will be a chemical reaction immediately. If the mixture turns a dark brown, you are expecting a boy. If the mixture doesn’t change colour, you are expecting a girl.

Carrying high or carrying low
Some people believe they can tell what you are having by simply looking at your belly. Where you are carrying your baby is meant to tell whether it’s a boy or girl you are carrying. High, and it’s a girl; low and it’s a boy. Sadly for believers of this theory, where you carry your baby has a lot more to do with your build, your weight and your baby’s position.

Morning sickness
Apparently, morning sickness is meant to be worse when you are expecting a girl. The ‘science’ to back up this theory is that when you are pregnant with a girl, your body is flooded with extra girl hormones which make you feel extra sick as your body adjusts to them.

Baby weight
Another gender prediction theory that can be conducted by simply looking at a pregnant woman, this one rests on the idea that when you are pregnant with a girl, you hold your extra baby weight on your bum and hips (something to do with these being the parts of the body being where women usually stack on the weight). If, however, you’re pregnant with a boy, all your extra baby weight will be at the front on your belly.

Guessing competition
When there are only two possible outcomes of any gender prediction test – boy or girl – simply taking a guess seems like a reasonable thing to do. After all, that still gives you a 50% chance of being correct. However, a study that asked pregnant women to predict the sex of their own baby showed that mums-to-be have a success rate far better than 50%! In fact, they correctly predicted the sex of their baby 71% of the time. Mother’s intuition has got to account for something, after all!

 

Dr. Annie

Physician, mom and wife

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