Are you having a girl or boy? The sex 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 stories about sex prediction, anyway?
If you’re hoping for a girl, 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.
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.
The sex of your baby has no impact on any of this. That means you can’t tell the sex 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 the sex. This is true whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fourth.
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 won’t help determine your baby’s sex.
Listen closely the next time your doctor listens to the baby’s heartbeat. According to some, a rapid rate of more than 140 beats per minute means you’re having a girl.
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.
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 sex.
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 girl’s clothes just yet.
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 sex.
While you have a 50-50 chance of guessing your baby’s sex correctly, you’re still guessing.
The truth is, medical intervention of some kind is necessary to accurately predict your baby’s sex. You’ll have to wait until the big sex reveal for one of life’s best surprises.
You’ll find out your baby’s sex through an ultrasound around 20 weeks into your pregnancy. These are 80 to 90 percent accurate, as long as your baby cooperates and allows the technician to get a clear look between their legs.
Some tests, including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, will tell you the sex definitively. But these are both invasive. They’re usually only offered to those who are carrying babies with an increased risk of genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities.
Noninvasive prenatal testing is another method to determine the sex. But it’s also typically only offered to women who are at risk of carrying babies with chromosomal conditions.