February 25, 2012
Categories: My Pregnancy Tags:
A Pregnancy Story: Gender Myths and Predictions
I think it’s only natural for women to hypothesize gender when they find out they’re pregnant…or find out someone else they know is pregnant. Literally, from the moment you announce (at least in my experience) that you’re pregnant, people start asking if you’re having a boy or girl…regardless of the fact that you won’t know for certain until your 18-20 week ultrasound (unless of course you have an elective ultrasound much sooner). So you state the obvious, that you don’t know…and they ask if you have a feeling one way or another. I’ll be honest…I have no clue how you’d ever know one way or another, unless you’ve already had one baby, and your 2nd or 3rd pregnancy is very different from your first experience. Maybe that’s just me. 

That all said, we still love to predict the gender of our babies before we really know…even if you don’t plan to officially find out until birth. Personally, I hate surprises, so I will be finding out at my 18 week ultrasound if we’re having a baby girl or boy (next week…woop woop!). Until then, I thought it might be interesting to have a little fun with some of the most popular gender myths. Warning…this is going to be a long post, but be sure to at least scroll to the bottom and vote GIRL or BOY.
17 Weeks - Boy or Girl RS
17 Weeks – I look like I popped a bit this week (of course, this was taken at the end of the day…so I always look a little bigger than I do in the morning). Some days I look bigger than others, but my weight hasn’t changed much from last week. I’m also starting to fill out on the sides.
Stand in front of the mirror and turn to the side. When you look at your profile, is your baby bump high and directly under your chest? Or does your pregnant belly sit low on your abdomen? 

The way you are carrying during your pregnancy is one of the most cited ways of determining the sex of your baby. According to this myth, if you’re carrying high – you are having a girl, if you’re carrying low – you’re having a boy. I’ve also heard that if you’re carrying a girl, your belly weight will distribute wide (meaning that you will gain it all over)…while if you’re carrying a boy, your belly weight will distribute out (baby seems to be all in the belly). However, everything I’ve read says that how you carry is a poor indicator of gender since the way you carry is more determined by your muscle and uterine tone as well as the position of the baby.

Last year, there were two pregnant women in my office…one had a boy, one had a girl. The one who had a boy was all belly…in fact, that belly seemed to take on a life of it’s own and really stretched out pretty far. The one who had a girl was a bit taller, but she seemed to distribute her weight a little more evenly all over (not that she looked fat at all).  

I’m pretty sure that it’d be hard to tell either way until you’re further along (since I’m just barely showing).  I also wonder if staying in the gym five days a week will make any sort of difference (fyi – the doctor told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing…with a little less intensity). On the other hand, after a weekend of round ligament pain in my hip bone, I get the sense that I’m starting to expand wide…so much for those side bends. I better invest in some good lotion!

Next time you go to the Ob-Gyn, ask what the heart rate of your soon-to-be newborn is. Is the number less than 140 beats-per-minute?

Another popular belief is that the fetal heartbeat differs for boys and girls. If you’re having a girl, the fetal heart rate is thought to be above 140 (some will argue that it’s above 150), while a boy will have a heart rate below 140. While the medical community once bought into this myth, it appears that it’s completely fiction. A baby’s heart rate is not affected by its sex until it is born, when a girl’s heart rate will increase considerably compared with boys during labor.

Fact or fiction, I have paid close attention to my baby’s heart rate at each of my appointments since so many of my friends really believe in this theory (and right now, based on the fetal heart rate…many of you think boy). At 12 weeks, Baby Sisk had a fetal heart rate of 155bpm…at 16 weeks, Baby Sisk had a fetal heart rate of 145bpm. According to this myth, I’m inclined to think girl…but anything between 120-160bpm is normal. 

Or perhaps you subscribe to the “angle of the dangle” theory. 

Male 11weeks
Male Gender
If what I just said sounded like a foreign language…this is what I mean by “angle of the dangle.” On ultrasound, if the baby is “behaving” and is positioned in a favorable way (typically laying on its back rather than bouncing around), gender can be determined during a scan when the fetus is about 12 weeks (about 14 weeks after your last missed period aka LMP). The determination is made by studying the angle between the genital ‘bump’ and the direction of the lower portion of the spine.

In most cases, you’ll see a couple of lines (male or female – as you see in my scan below)…and you’re paying attention to the angle of those lines. Therefore, at 12 or 13 weeks, male fetus lines are pointing north while female fetus lines stay horizontal (if that makes sense). Gender predictions made at 12 weeks (gestational age) are about 88% accurate. That accuracy goes up to 98% at 14 weeks. Most doctors are uncomfortable making any gender predictions until between 18-20 weeks – which of course, is what I’m waiting on.

Female 11weeks
Female Gender
For example, take a look at these pictures from Baby2See.com (on the left) – and click HERE for more information the “angle of the dangle” theory. With the male fetus, the genital tubercle usually creates an angle of greater than 30 degrees with the lower part of the spine. In the female fetuses, the genital tubercle protrudes in the same direction as the lower portion of the spine with an angle of less than 30 degrees relative to the backbone. 

Baby Sisk at 12 Week Ultrasound
Here’s Baby Sisk (on the right), just in case you’re interested: 

Grab a mirror and check your complexion. Did pregnancy evaporate your acne, leaving you with a smooth, healthy glow?

I was really hoping that pregnancy would be my skincare solution. In the beginning, my skin really started clearing up. However, I’m afraid that I may have called victory way too soon. Pregnancy hormones have since taken over my face and I’m relying on concealer to hide the war zone. Some believe that getting acne during your pregnancy indicates you’re having a girl. Maybe the acne is caused by twice the amount of female hormones? On the other hand, I recently read Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy – I want to say that Jenny also spoke about having bad acne during pregnancy. She had a boy.

Time to check your partner out. Is he gaining weight along with you — or packing on even more pounds than you have?

The belief is that, if your husband puts on weight during your pregnancy, then you will be having a girl. If he doesn’t put on a pound, then you’re carrying a boy. This one seems tricky for me. About the time I found out I was pregnant, my husband decided to quit his Commit lozenges (the nicotine tablets). I would hardly say he’s gained much if any weight, but I have noticed him eating a lot more snacks…especially sweets, and he never really had a sweet tooth before. 

As I mentioned earlier, we’re still going to the gym regularly (mostly together), so we both weigh in at each visit. For me, it’s all about maintaining a healthy weight gain during my pregnancy while he just wants to maintain his current weight. If we both threw caution to the wind, I’m pretty sure that we’d both be tipping the scales. 

If it were up to you, would you skip dinner altogether and head straight for dessert? OR do you feel an overwhelming desire to chow down on anything salty, like a big bag of chips or a salt-crusted pretzel?

This particular myth speaks to the belief that your cravings are caused by the gender of your baby. For example, if you’re craving chocolate or anything sweet, you could be having a girl. Sour or salty cravings (example – lemon juice, pickles or potato chips) are thought to mean you’re having a boy. So many women crave a combination of sweet, salty and sour that it becomes harder to suggest one direction or another.

If I look at my own cravings (if you can call them that – I think I’ve just been more decisive about what I want to eat), I’ve mostly been interested in cereal, orange juice, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and ice cream…with a dash of Spaghetti O’s sprinkled into the mix. I did go through an extreme sugar rush, but I’d like to blame being pregnant during the holidays as the cause. I mean, how do you avoid cookies and dessert during Christmas? You don’t. There again, I never turn down a good chocolate chip cookie (or cupcake for that matter)…holiday or not. On the other hand, I’ve never been a huge fan of sour foods (and I hate pickles), so I doubt I’ll ever crave them.

Do you find that since you’ve been pregnant you can’t seem to stand up without tripping over your own feet?

The myth would say that if you’re feeling graceful during pregnancy, you’ll have a girl…whereas if you’ve turned into a klutz, you’re having a boy. I’ve always been a bit clumsy, so what’s that mean for me? However, all pregnant women may experience a bit of clumsiness because women who are pregnant undergo many physical changes; one of which is the release of hormones into the body that allow your skin, belly and uterus to grow larger than humanly possible. Joints are loosened to prepare for child birth and our center of gravity suddenly changes as our bellies continues to protrude further from the mid-section. Each of these changes can cause clumsiness to occur. Since I’m already begging for an injury, I’ve decided it’s best to take things slow…just as a precaution.

During your first trimester, did you wonder what all the fuss about morning sickness was? 

Myth would say that if you experience morning sickness (or sickness at all…let’s be honest, it doesn’t always occur in the morning), you’re likely to have a girl. I used to believe this myth until I witnessed so many of my friends go through pregnancy without sickness and then have baby girls. On the same note, I’ve had friends have terrible morning sickness and then have baby boys. Then of course, there are those women who get nauseous but don’t actually throw up. When my male coworkers who already have children found out I was pregnant, they asked if I had been sick. As I’ve said before, I haven’t…to which they responded, “you must be having a girl.” 

So yeah, I’ve had a pretty easy experience thus far (knock on wood). However, I’ve had several friends to get pregnant in recent months that gave me tips on how to prepare my body for pregnancy long before I ever got pregnant (this was my best attempt at avoiding morning sickness completelY). Curious what I did? I took my prenatal vitamins (Vitafusion Gummies – this particular vitamin doesn’t have iron in it, but my doctor says I don’t need anything additional other than what I’m getting in my diet) in the evening with dinner. Although I did get extra drained and occasionally nauseous in the evening, I never threw up (unless I was trying to brush my teeth…that always seemed difficult). I figured I needed my energy during the day to get through work, so if I got drained at night, I could just take it easy. I also made sure to carry snacks with me everywhere – I’m convinced that the key to not getting sick is to avoid an empty stomach…maybe I’m wrong. 

Do you prefer to sleep on your right side or your left side?

According to this pregnancy myth, if you’re sleeping on your left side, you’re having a boy…while if you’re sleeping on your right side, you’re having a girl. I feel like a school girl asking a dumb question right now, but what if you sleep on both sides…and you’ve always slept on both sides pregnant or not. I don’t buy this one.

Okay, so I know there are a bunch of other “predictors,” but the list was getting a bit long. How about those all those home gender prediction tests? Yes, I tried a few of them and here’s what I found: 
Chinese Gender Chart
Source: The Bump
  • Even and Odd Numbers: If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it’s girl. One even, one odd means a boy. For those of you playing along, I was 29 in 2011 when this baby was conceived. 
  • The Chinese Conception or Birth Chart: This particular approach claims to be able to help you to predict the gender of the baby by linking your age and the month of conception to the gender of the baby. According to the Chinese, I’m having a girl. I have many friends who swear up and down by this approach. Click HERE to play along. 
  • Pendulum or Circle Swing:  This particular test has you hold a necklace with a pendant (often your wedding band on a string) or a needle over your belly. If it (whatever you choose to use) moves in a strong circular motion, you’re having a girl. If it moves back and forth like a pendulum, you’re having a boy. One of my coworkers said that she did this with both of her pregnancies and in both cases, it predicted she was having a girl. She has two beautiful little girls. She told me to bring in a necklace so we could try it out. I really thought I had to have a larger belly, but she said it didn’t matter. So, the other day at work, I laid down so she could dangle this chain over my belly. Sure enough, it started spinning in a circle…and I know she wasn’t moving her hand.
  • Urine Sample Tests: Of course, there is the Drano test (click HERE to see the recipe). I actually did not try this test…seems a little stinky and toxic – that can’t be good for the baby. However, I did purchase the GENDERmaker test. Much like a pregnancy test, you pee in a cup, then place a sample of your urine into a sample window on the gender prediction test. You are supposed to see an immediate chemical reaction in the control test window – it is supposed to change to either pink (Girl) or blue (Boy). For some reason, it took a while for the reaction to take place. I actually had to open up the test and drop my sample onto the sample tab until I witnessed a reaction. Furthermore, I noticed a heavy blue tab in between the sample space and the control space…which makes me think the whole thing is rigged. I threw away the test before taking a picture because I got a light shade of purple which doesn’t tell me much of anything – thus I think it’s a rip off. However, now that I look at the color chart, it may have leaned more girl. If anything, this type of thing should be used for entertainment purposes ONLY.

With all of that said, what myths do you buy into? Was there any particular one that was correct in predicting the gender of your babies? Tell me about your experience. And what do you predict for me? Girl or Boy? One more week and we’ll know for sure. I just need to come up with a creative way to tell you!