Baby gender myths

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Pregnant woman
Although it's fun to try and predict whether you're having a boy or girl based on some of the popular gender myths out there, not a single one of them has ever been determined to work
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Can you predict your baby's sex?

There are a variety of baby gender myths out there. Some involve ways to predict what your baby is and others actually say that you can control what your baby will be. They vary widely and range from how the pregnant mother's pupils dilate to, believe it or not, what direction your pillow faces while you're sleeping.

Some are completely ridiculous and some have at least a bit of basis in logic. All have one thing in common though. They're all just myths. We'll cover the most common ones here.

Baby Myth Number One: The Heart Rate

Your baby's heart rate tells you if it's a girl or a boy. The myth goes that if the heart rate is over 140 beats per minute it's a girl and if it's under 140 it's a boy. The fact is that a baby's heart rate changes throughout pregnancy. It starts off very slow when the heart is just developed enough to begin beating but then speeds up to rates approaching 200 beats per minute.

The average heartrate of an unborn baby is in the 120 - 160 range. This is true for both boys and girls. Many studies have been conducted and there is no correlation at all between heart rate and gender.

Baby Myth Number 2:  Belly Shape


The shape and position of your belly can predict the baby's gender. The myth goes if you're carrying the baby low it's a boy and if you carry it high then it's a girl. The reality is that there is no correlation at all between how high or low the baby is carried and gender.

How a woman carries her baby is largely determined by the condition that the mother is in and how tight her stomach muscles are. Toward the end of the pregnancy, when a baby is maneuvering into the birth canal the baby will be carried lower. Sometimes this change is obvious, other times less so. In any case, this happens identically whether the baby is a boy or girl.


Baby Myth Number 3: Mom's Face Shape

The color or shape of the mother's face tells the gender of the baby. This is actually two myths rolled into one. One is that if you gain a lot of weight in your face you're having a girl. The other is that you're having a girl if your cheeks are flushed and rosy. Neither one has any basis in fact. Women's faces all gain weight differently, both from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy.

I can tell you from my own wife's experience having had only girls that even when you have children of the same sex, the shape of the mother's face and her body in general changes dramatically from pregnancy to pregnancy. The coloring of the mother's cheeks is similar. This changes not only from pregnancy to pregnancy without regard to the child's gender, but from day to day during a single pregnancy.

Baby Myth Number 4: Mom's Tastes

The mother's tastes during pregnancy predict the baby's gender. This is one of the sillier myths I'll cover here. It goes that if the mother craves sweet things like chocolate, she will have a girl. If she craves sour items like lemons, she'll have a boy. This is simply an old wives tale based on nothing other than the concept that girls are sweet and boys are sour (in personality). This is related to the 'snips and snails' and 'sugar and spice' descriptions of what boys and girls are made of in the famous rhyme, but is nothing more than a fairy tale.

Baby Myth Number 5: How Baby is Conceived

Doing something specific before or during conception can determine the gender of the child. There are a wide variety of myths that some people still cling to for actually determining the gender of a baby. From what to eat to when to have sex to what position to be in during conceptual intercourse, there are as many different beliefs on actively changing the gender of your baby as there are days in a year. You can be sure that every one of them has been tried in places like China, where boys are highly valued. If any one of them worked, there would be a severe shortage of women in the world. All I have to say is thank God they don't work!

That covers some of the more common baby gender myths but there are literally thousands and they vary from generation to generation and country to country. Some involve the father, most involve the mother, some even involve both. Not a single one of them, however, have ever been determined to have any basis in fact, All of the more common myths have been scientifically and medically tested again and again and proven to be simply myths.

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