What Science Says About 'Signs' You're Having a Girl

According to old wives' tales, these pregnancy symptoms may mean you're expecting a female baby. 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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Are you keeping an eye on every sign and pregnancy symptom you're experiencing to see if they'll give you a clue about your baby's sex? While it certainly can be fun, 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 try to guess anyway!

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.

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

You're carrying high

Is your bump resting pretty high up? There is a wives' 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, an 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," she says.

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 non-gestational parent weight gain is a real thing, she has not seen any association between that 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. You may have even heard the commonly shared (and rather sexist) 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 moms of boys who experienced hyperemesis gravidarum, would likely tell you the answer is no. Nevertheless, the myth still stands today.

The truth: No truth here. In fact, one 2013 study found that pregnant people 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 saying, old wives' tales say 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 baby 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." (Also, we think that baby boys are just as sweet!)

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 their sex? The old wives' tale says male fetuses typically have a heart rate that's 140 beats per minute or slower, while female fetuses' 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, research hasn't been able to find a conclusive link.

Science Says You're Having a Female Baby 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.

Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT)

Around week 10 of your pregnancy, you'll be offered a comprehensive genetic screening known as noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). It's a blood test to screen for certain congenital disorders 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.

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

If you opt to get a chorionic villus 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 with 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 the imaging procedure.

Nuchal translucency (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 ultrasound tech may get a clear shot of a baby's genitals.


An amniocentesis, which is performed between 15 and 18 weeks gestation mainly for high-risk pregnancies, 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 people 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.

Editor's Note

While this article uses the terms "gender" and "boy" vs. "girl," it's important to note that gender is a personal identity that exists on a spectrum, can change over the course of a person's lifetime—and most importantly—is something that a person defines for themselves. Sex, on the other hand, is assigned at birth based on the appearance of a baby's genitalia. While sex assigned at birth often matches a person's gender (called cisgender), sometimes, for transgender, intersex, and gender nonbinary people, it does not.

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