There are plenty of old wives’ tales that supposedly predict the sex of your unborn baby. Most of us are aware there is absolutely no science behind the incredibly entertaining act of swinging a wedding ring over a pregnant woman’s body to see if it swings in circles or back and forth.
But there are still many who insist that the shape of a woman’s body is a clear indicator of whether she is carrying a boy or a girl (what about the women carrying one of each sex?)
Spoiler alert: Professor Steve Robson, the Vice President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has told The Huffington Post Australia that none of these myths -- not even one -- have any impact on a child’s gender.
If you are carrying low, it’s a boy. If you’re carrying high, it’s a girl.
“It’s clear to say that a child’s genitals has nothing to do with how the woman’s body looks when she is pregnant. The way a woman carries a baby has more to do with the size of the baby -- then the belly tends to pivot forward," Professor Robson said.
"If the baby is smaller, it is more likely to be lower in the pelvis. So a baby that is larger than average is more likely to be higher, a smaller baby will be lower. It has nothing to do with their genitals and everything to do with the way the baby is lying in the uterus."
If the mother is extremely moody or grumpy, she is having a girl.
"I’ve seen many moody, grumpy pregnant women and it has nothing to do with the sex of the baby. I think it’s a combination of things. Often the hormones in pregnancy are feminine hormones and tend to relax people. But the mere fact you’re pregnant can be stressful for some people and stress influences moods," he said.
"Not only is the woman pregnant but she has to organise a lot and she might have to juggle other children and work, or her partner might not be very helpful.
"All those factors can contribute to grumpiness. But there is no reason why the sex of the baby should determine your mood. It’s just the fact that some people get stressed when they are juggling multiple things."
If your baby’s heartbeat is lower than 140 beats per minute, you’re having a boy.
"A baby’s heart beat varies all the time and there’s a wide range of what is considered to be normal. Closer to term, a heart rate of 110-160 beats a minute is perfectly normal. But it’s commonly all over the place.
"The major thing that influences heart beat is how much the baby is moving. An active baby means a faster heart beat. It’s nothing to do with the sex of the baby, it’s all about the activity of the baby. Some are just moving all the time, some tend to sleep a lot. The healthier the baby, the more interplay and that will see the heart rate race up and down and respond to movement," Professor Robson said.
If the mother has bad skin, she is having a girl.
"The reason women have hormonal changes in their skin is because the environment of pregnancy changes the skin. It’s irrespective of the sex of the baby," he said.
"So, once again, the sex of the baby has no impact on the mother’s skin. If you’re developing pimples during your pregnancy, it has nothing to do with the sex of the baby, and everything to do with the hormones your skin is producing."
If you are sleeping on your left side, you are having a boy.
"The position you are sleeping in has nothing to do with the sex of your baby. It has everything to do with what is making you feel comfortable and where your partner is sleeping too."
If you have bad morning sickness in the first trimester, you are having a girl. If you are having no morning sickness in the first trimester, you are having a boy.
"Morning sickness has nothing to do with gender. It just means some people are very prone to morning sickness the same way some people are prone to motion sickness.
"Also, morning sickness can be worse in one pregnancy than in another. But, again, it has no relationship to the gender of the baby and everything to do with hormones in pregnancy. Sometimes different hormone levels promote different levels of morning sickness," Professor Robson said.