Trying to tell whether it's a boy or girl? Here's what works -- and what doesn't. You must be having a boy. One suggests that mommies-to-be hang their wedding ring from a strand of the father's hair over their belly. Another advises them to mix their urine with Drano; the color is supposedly a clue about the baby's sex. Now that medical technology makes it possible to determine an unborn baby's sex with almost total certainty, why do these old wives' tales persist?
The Internet is at least partly to blame for the ongoing pregnancy rumor mill. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have turned anyone with a keyboard into a pregnancy "expert.
People reading those random comments can wrongly take them for medical facts. Believe It or Not? Even though most wives' tales about guessing the baby's sex are harmless, "My medical caution to my patients is: Please make sure you know the source of what you're paying attention to or sharing," Mass says.
I think it makes you very vulnerable in a way. Even people who wouldn't normally believe myths are more likely to. And surprisingly, at least a couple of these methods do have some evidence to back them up. Here's what experts told WebMD about a few of the most rampant baby sex prediction rumors. Continued Pregnancy Myth 1: If your belly hangs low or in front , you're having a boy. If it's high or wide in the middle , you're having a girl. This one is pure myth. These factors, along with your body shape and how much weight you gain during pregnancy -- not the baby's gender -- will determine how low or high your belly sits.
Rhythm of the Heart Myth: If the baby's heart beats faster than beats per minute, it's a girl. This is a myth Mass says her patients ask her about on a daily basis, and there might actually be a wee bit of truth to it.
A study showed no gender-related differences in fetal heart rate during the first trimester , but Mass says that's no surprise, considering that babies' hearts beat faster in general during the first 28 to 30 weeks of pregnancy. It's later in the pregnancy when the difference becomes apparent. A study showed that just before delivery, a female baby's heart does beat faster than a male's. Mass says she sees a similar trend in her own patients.
Swinging on a Hair Myth: Hang your wedding ring from a strand of the father's hair over your belly. If the ring swings around in circles, it's a girl. If it sways back and forth, it's a boy. An alternate version of this myth recommends dangling a pin over the mother's wrist. There's no real evidence to confirm or deny this one. Mass doesn't see any scientific basis for it, but she says people who follow traditional Chinese medicine might explain the dangling ring or pin as evidence of the body's natural forces at work.
The Drano Test Myth: Stir some Drano into your urine. If the mixture turns green, it's a boy. Other color changes have been proposed for this myth, but green is one of the most common. Mass doesn't know of any medical reason why a Drano-urine mixture could predict a baby's sex. The few studies that have been done on the subject also refute the claim. In the early s, researchers at the University of Wyoming performed the test on pregnant women and found it to be "roughly equivalent to flipping a coin" for predicting gender.
A Canadian study yielded similar results. Even if the technique did work, Drano is a caustic chemical -- not something you want to be playing around with or breathing in while you're pregnant, Beard says.
A pregnant woman who craves sweets is having a boy. If she craves sour foods, she's having a girl. Your baby boy might grow up to have a sweet tooth , but while he's in your womb he's not going to make you desperate for an ice cream cone or candy bar. If you're craving sweets or any other food , it's probably because your shifting hormones have intensified your sense of smell.
Sick to Your Stomach Myth: If you have morning sickness all day, it's a girl. This myth might have some truth to it. Studies have found that women with a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum are more likely to give birth to girls. Levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG, which triggers morning sickness, tend to be higher in mothers who are pregnant with female babies.
But a pregnant woman can certainly have morning sickness, even bad morning sickness, when she's carrying a boy.
So no, you can't count on it being a girl if you've got serious morning sickness. Look at the Calendar Myth: The Chinese Lunar Calendar can predict a baby's gender based on the mother's age when she conceived, and the month of conception. The Chinese Lunar Calendar was discovered in a year-old Royal tomb, and many pregnant women who've used it swear by it. Could this ancient artifact have some modern science behind it?
Continued Learning Your Baby's Gender, For Real One accurate way to predict whether you're having a boy or girl is to have an ultrasound , which is usually done between weeks of pregnancy.
Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling CVS also can determine your baby's sex with a high degree of accuracy, but these more invasive tests are usually reserved for situations in which the baby may have a genetic disorder or chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome. DNA tests of the mother's blood can also accurately detect the baby's sex, but because of their high cost, these tests are only used in specialized laboratories, not commercially.
Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, ; vol American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, January ; vol Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dec. Del Mar Melero-Montes, M.
January ; vol February ; vol Luke's Boise Medical Center: Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, January ; vol What Happens Right Away.