Signs You're Having a Girl: Old Wives' Tales vs. Science

Hoping to be a #girlmom or #girldad? According to old gender wives' tales, these pregnancy symptoms mean you may be in luck. But can they be trusted? We've consulted with a physician to get an expert opinion.

Pink Filtered Cropped high angle shot of a pregnant woman’s bare belly
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If you've been seeing pink ever since you learned you were pregnant, you're probably keeping an eye on every sign and symptom you're experiencing to see if they'll give you a clue about your baby's sex. While it's fun to do this, most experts agree that there's simply not much truth to most of those old wives' tales floating around out there. But that doesn't mean you can't have fun trying to guess!

Here, we've listed some of the most popular ways to tell if you're pregnant with a girl, according to old wives' tales. But we've gone a step further and consulted a medical expert to get a doctor's opinion as well. Keep reading to find out whether these gender myths favor pink or blue for you!

Old Wives' Tales Say You're Having a Girl If...

You're carrying high

Is your bump resting pretty high up? There's a wive's tale that says this could mean you're carrying a girl.

The truth: Carrying high is actually more likely a harbinger of indigestion than your baby's sex. Carrying higher can cause things to get a bit cramped in there, according to Kameelah Phillips, M.D., IBCLC, and OB-GYN for Calla Women's Health in New York City, but it doesn't mean you're having a girl. "It really depends on the position of the baby and the number of babies you've had before that primarily impacts the appearance of mom's abdomen and uterus, as well as how she's carrying any pregnancy weight."

Your partner is gaining weight

If your partner is gaining weight right along with you, this old wives' tale says there's a good chance you're having a girl.

The truth: While Dr. Phillips admits that "dad weight" is a real thing, she has not seen any association between the weight gain of the father and the sex of the baby.

You have pregnancy acne

Channeling high school! If your skin has started to break out like crazy, you might just be expecting a girl. At least that's the commonly held belief: that "baby girls steal your beauty."

The truth: Dr. Phillips finds fault with this wives' tale as well. Things like acne and weight gain often get blamed on female children when, in fact, both are common in pregnancy no matter the sex of your baby.

Your morning sickness is severe

Can a girl cause more severe morning sickness? Kate Middleton and Amy Schumer, both boy moms who suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, would likely tell you the answer is no. Nevertheless, the myth still stands today.

The truth: No truth here. In fact, recent studies say that pregnant women dealing with nausea and vomiting are more slightly likely to be carrying males.

You're craving sweets

How does the rhyme go? Sweet and spice and everything nice—that's what little girls are made of. If your pregnancy cravings are in line with this poem, chances are you're carrying a girl, while salty or savory cravings may be more indicative of a boy.

The truth: According to Dr. Phillips, there's no real truth to this wildly popular gender myth. "It is often said that having a sweet tooth is an indication that a little girl is coming. This is consistent with many cultural associations with 'sweet little girls.' However, there is no direct relation to having a sweet tooth and the gender of the baby."

Your urine is a highlighter yellow

There are lots of at-home gender prediction tests that claim to clue you in to your baby's sex based on how your urine reacts to different substances. And there's a wives' tale that indicates brightly colored urine means you'll welcome a baby girl.

The truth: "Urine varies throughout the day and has much more to do with hydration, infection, vitamins, and diet than anything else," says Dr. Phillips. "There's no relation between urine and the gender of your baby."

Your baby's heart rate is high

If you've had a chance to hear your baby's heartbeat, you know how amazing it is. But can it be a clue to his or her sex? The old wives' tale says male fetuses typically have a heart rate that's 140 beats per minute or slower, while girls' hearts beat a bit faster, at 140 beats per minute or higher.

The truth: Though some sources feel there is some truth to this gender myth, recent studies haven't been able to find a conclusive link.

Science Says You're Having a Girl If...

We get it-you're dying to know the sex of your future child. But put those old wives' tales aside, and read on for a few science-backed ways to find out definitively whether you'll be welcoming a boy or girl:

NIPT Screening: Around week 10 of your pregnancy, you'll be offered a comprehensive genetic screening: noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). It's a blood test to screen for any abnormalities in the fetus. Your baby's sex will be included in the test report that comes back from your doctor, so be sure to let them know before the report is read if you don't want to know what you're having.

CVS: If you opt to get a chorionic villis sampling (CVS) test done, which is performed between 10 and 12 weeks, and screens for fetal chromosomal abnormalities,you can learn the sex of your baby at the same time via a sample of tissue from the placenta. These cells will tell you within 99% or greater accuracy the sex of your baby. Additionally, an ultrasound is done at the same time as the procedure, and sometimes, the sex of the baby can be learned during this procedure.

NT Scan: Opting to skip the genetic screening? Your next chance to learn your baby's sex is at the nuchal translucency (NT) scan around 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is simply a thorough ultrasound (it's often done in combination with the NIPT blood test) that screens for different markers of Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and other chromosomal abnormalities. While 12 weeks is a bit early to determine sex, every now and then the tech may get a clear shot of a baby's genitals.

Amnio: An amniocentesis, which is performed between 15 and 18 weeks gestation, screens cells from the amniotic fluid to test for chromosomal abnormalities. Like the CVS test, the sex of the baby can also be determined during this test via the genetic sample and/or during the ultrasound that takes place during the procedure.

Mid-Pregnancy Ultrasound: If you choose to skip the NIPT (and many couples do!), you'll have to wait until your mid-pregnancy ultrasound to learn the sex of your baby. The mid-pregnancy ultrasound occurs between weeks 18 to 22 of your pregnancy. Here, you'll get an intimate view of every inch of your growing bundle of joy. And in most cases, you'll be able to find out your baby's sex.

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