baby girl

Are you having a girl or boy? The gender reveal is probably one of the most exciting parts of your pregnancy.

But is there any way to learn the answer without an ultrasound? How accurate are all of those old wives’ tales about gender prediction, anyway?

If you’re hoping for pink, you’re probably taking a look at all the clues — both anecdotal and otherwise.

Here’s how to figure out if those anecdotes are myths or facts, and how to really determine whether you have a baby girl on the way.

1. Carrying high

If you’re carrying high, congratulations — it’s a girl! Or so the saying goes, at least.

But there could be another reason for a high belly. If it’s your first pregnancy and your body is in good shape, your stomach muscles, body shape, and how much weight you gain during your pregnancy will all play a role in how you’re carrying.

Unfortunately, the sex of your baby has no impact on any of this. That means you can’t tell the gender just by evaluating your belly. Multiple pregnancies can also have an impact on the elasticity of those same muscles.

Lesson learned? Don’t count on this myth to determine gender. This is true whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fourth.

Myth or fact? Myth

2. Carrying around the middle

There’s a similar tale about where you’re carrying that baby weight. If your pregnancy weight gain is around the middle, it’s because you’re having a baby girl. All in front? A bouncing baby boy is on the way.

But again, how and where you carry is related to your body type, weight gain, and other physical factors. It will not help determine your baby’s gender.

Myth or fact? Myth

3. Faster fetal heart rate

Listen closely the next time your doctor listens to the baby’s heartbeat. According to the old wives’ tale, a rapid rate of more than 140 beats per minute means you’re having a girl. This one is true, sort of.

The heart rate of a baby girl is usually faster than that of a baby boy. But this is only true after labor begins. Before that, it’s the age of a fetus that really affects heart rate speed.

Around week 5 of pregnancy, the fetus’s heart rate is roughly the same as the mother’s, between 80 to 85 beats per minute. It will quicken steadily until week 9, topping off between 170 and 200 beats per minute. It then starts to slow down to an average of somewhere between 120 and 160.

Myth or fact? Fact, sort of

4. Craving sweets

The saying goes that craving sweet things during your pregnancy is related to the baby girl you’re growing. If you’re dreaming of salty or sour snacks, you’re carrying a boy.

While there’s some suggestion that cravings during pregnancy can be related to deficiencies in specific minerals, there’s no connection between cravings and gender.

Myth or fact? Myth

5. Breakouts and oily skin

Your skin is oily and you’re breaking out during pregnancy. Common wisdom explains that it’s because your baby girl is stealing your beauty.

In reality, you can blame your skin woes on hormones, not your baby girl.

Myth or fact? Myth

6. Excessive morning sickness

Conventional wisdom says that excessive morning sickness at any point during your pregnancy means you’re having a girl.

The truth? Morning sickness is related to surging hormones and low blood sugar. Don’t start buying pink clothes just yet.

Myth or fact? Myth

7. Wild mood swings

If you’re having unpredictable mood swings, it could be because you’re having a girl.

But it’s probably because you’re on a hormonal roller coaster called pregnancy! There’s no science behind this myth. Mood swings are common for mothers-to-be carrying babies of either gender.

Myth or fact? Myth

The truth

While you have a 50-50 chance of guessing your baby’s gender correctly, you’re still guessing.

The truth is, medical intervention of some kind is necessary to accurately predict your baby’s gender. You’ll have to wait until the big gender reveal for one of life’s best surprises.

Ready to find out the gender of your baby-to-be? These 7 creative gender reveal ideas will help get the party started.

The takeaway

You’ll find out the baby’s gender at an ultrasound around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. These are 80 to 90 percent accurate, as long as your baby cooperates and gives the technician a good look between the legs.

Some tests, including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, will tell you the gender definitively. But these are both invasive. They’re usually only offered to mothers who are carrying babies with an increased risk of genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities.

Noninvasive prenatal testing is another method to determine gender. But it’s also typically only offered to women who are at risk of carrying babies with chromosomal conditions.