The Sticky Files.

Predicting gender in pregnancy

Marisca examines old wives' tales for guessing the gender of in-utero babies

If you’ve ever been pregnant before you’ve been asked a million times if you know the gender or not.

Nowadays more than half of parents-to-be find out the gender while less than 50 per cent choose to wait until birth for the surprise.

When I was pregnant with my first, we decided to wait. It was our first time and wanted to buy all the essentials like strollers and car seats in neutral colours anyway because we knew we wanted more than one child.

However, everyone told us they thought we were having a boy. I was working in an office and a stranger came in, an older lady, and told me I was having a boy. She said she has never been wrong before when it came to guessing the gender.

I never saw the woman again, but I’d like to tell her she was wrong. I had a girl. Or maybe it is best that I don’t tell her, let her think her ‘winning’ streak continues.

We did decide to find out for our second baby. The suspense almost killed me once, I couldn’t do it again. I also like to plan ahead. I don’t think either way is better than the other. Both had pros and cons. While the surprise was fun, the guessing was almost also fun.

The downside is that all the newborn clothes are yellow or green. I had so many people tell me my baby girl was such a cute little boy. I don’t believe in girl c0lours or boy colours anyway, but it gets annoying when the rest of the world seems to.

If you don’t find out the gender right away, trying out all the old wives’ tales for predicting gender can be a good distraction from all the pregnancy woes. Of course, there is no scientific truth to any of them, but they can still be amusing.

One of the more popular old wives’ tales is the cravings test. If you are craving sugary treats, you’re having a girl, and salty treats means you’re having a boy. I’ve had two girls and craved sugar for both of those pregnancies, so much so that I had gestational diabetes with the second one.

The Chinese gender chart also correctly predicted both of my pregnancies to be girls. It is an interesting ancient chart that can now be found online.

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I’ve also heard that if you have a pregnancy glow and luscious locks it means you’re having a boy but if you break out and don’t look so swell, it means you’re having a girl.

The thought process behind this one is that the baby girl is taking all of the mom’s good looks. Hormones are crazy during pregnancy, not sure how much truth is in this one.

Another old wives’ tale is based on the speed of the little one’s heart rate. If the heart is beating faster than 140 beats per minute, bust out the pink. This one however was wrong for me as well.

A study done by Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy also debunked this one. After studying hundreds of sonograms, this myth was busted as researchers found little difference between male and female heart rates during early pregnancy.

I also tried the ring test with my first pregnancy. I tied a ring on a string and hung it over my belly. If it swings in a circular motion, you’re having a girl, but if it’s swinging side to side, it means you’re having a boy. My string did both. Not sure what that meant but I do now have a very indecisive girl.


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