7 myths about predicting your baby's sex

Here's the scoop some of the most prevalent myths about baby gender prediction.

By Ann Douglas

Pregnancy myths about your belly shape and morning sickness

Care to know?
Curious about the gender of the tiny tenant who's been subletting your uterus for the past nine months? You're not alone.

Since the beginning of time, expectant parents have tried to guess whether the baby they are carrying is a boy or a girl. Here's the scoop on seven of the most prevalent myths about predicting the gender of your baby.

1. Heartrate
"A heartrate of less than 140 beats per minute means that you're having a boy while a heartrate of over 140 beats per minute means that you're having a girl."

Although this particular myth has been kicking around for decades, there's only one study on the books that supports it: a 1993 study at the University of Kentucky that concluded that the fetal heartbeat could be used to correctly predict the gender of 91% of male fetuses and 74% of female fetuses.

Every other study conducted before or since has reached the exact opposite conclusion -- that the fetal heart-rate can't be used to predict the gender of your baby.

2. The shape of your belly
"If you're carrying your baby high, it's a girl. If you're carrying your baby low, it's a boy." If you've managed to get through nine months of pregnancy without having someone predict the gender of your baby based on the shape of your belly, count your blessings!

Many people still lend credence to a rather sexist bit of English folk wisdom that states that boys are carried down low and out front because they need greater independence while girls are carried up high and across their mother's body because they need greater protection -- the origin of this particular gender prediction myth.

3. Morning sickness
"If you are experiencing severe morning sickness, you're having a girl." Theories such as this one have been tossed around for years, but a recent study added more fuel to the fire.

Swedish researchers discovered that 56% of women hospitalized with severe morning sickness ended up giving birth to baby girls. Even if there is something to this study -- something that's led to more than a few heated arguments among obstetricians -- the findings aren't exactly definitive.

At best, you can conclude that you may have a slightly higher-than-average chance of having a baby girl if you're feeling exceptionally crummy. It's up to you whether you want to paint the nursery pink on that basis!

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover more gender-guessing myths on page 2

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