When you are pregnant and it becomes visible, everybody asks what the sex of your baby will be. Grandparents, mothers-in-law, the father himself, random people in the store, the woman sitting on the same bench in the park Ė they all have guesses and theories on how to predict it.
They all claim to have the most accurate foolproof technique to figure out whether you'll be buying a baby crib in pink or in blue.
In a study published in 1999, researchers asked a hundred mothers-to-be to guess their baby's sex, using whatever method they wanted. The women were right 55% of the time. The study also shows that the pregnant women with higher levels of education were far more exact in predicting their baby's sex. They were correct 71% of the time. These women admit that their predictions rely on dreams or feelings, and those were the most accurate ones.
So which are the most precise foolproof methods?
These days, advanced medicine offers plenty of high-tech procedures to predict a baby's sex. However, you can still have lots of fun using the old wivesí tales to tell the babyís sex before he or she is born. Here are a few of the most common old wives' tales:
1. Examine the looks of the pregnant lady
If the mother looks even more beautiful during her pregnancy, it must be a boy. Girls tend to steal motherís beauty for themselves, tales say.
2. The heartbeat hypothesis
Fetal heart rates normally range between 110 and 160. If your baby's heart rate averages in the 110 to low 130s range, then it's more likely to be a boy. If it's in the mid 140s to 160 range, it's more likely a girl. A study done in 1993 proves this theory right, saying that the heartbeat method could be an accurate way to predict sex of 91% of boys and 74% of girls.
3. The ring theory
Dangling a golden ring on a string over the pregnant woman's belly is another well-known technique. If the ring moves in a circle, it's a girl. If it swings back and forth like a pendulum, it's a boy.
A cleaning lady I once worked with told me that it also works when you hang the ring not over the belly, but over the woman's left hand. She has to position her palm horizontally in the air, with the soft side down. All fingers are contacting each other, except for the thumb and the index finger, which should form a 90-degree angle. The ring stands above the empty space formed between those two fingers.
4. The positioning of the embryo
If youíre carrying in your belly, your baby will be a boy. If youíre carrying in your hips, then it is a girl.
5. Position of the "linea nigra".
If your line of pigmentation runs only up to the belly button, itís a girl. If it goes over the belly button and up toward the ribs, youíre having a boy.
6. Cravings during pregnancy
Hormonal changes affect smell and taste, which explains the impulse for specific foods. If you tend to eat more sweet stuff, such as chocolate or candies, you are having a baby girl. Eating sour, salty, spicy and protein-rich foods determine you should probably prepare in blue.
7. The key test
This is a very simple method. Place one key in front of the mum-to-be. If she grabs it at the top (the widest part), then it is going to be a boy, and if she grabs it at the bottom Ė it is a girl. If you pick it up in the middle, twins are on their way!
8. The Chinese gender chart
They say that the Chinese Gender Chart is more than 90% accurate. Simply enter the motherís date of birth and the date of conception. The other benefit of this gender predictor is that you can calculate the right time to get pregnant to get the desired baby gender.
9. Pay attention to your dreams
If you are dreaming of having a boy, you will have a girl. If you dream that you will have a girl, it will be a boy. As you can see, dreams show the opposite of what you are going to bear.
Nowadays, science is far more reliable at predicting a baby's sex compared with the old wives' tales. Although, even an ultrasound can't always provide 100% accuracy. A lot of factors render influence at ultrasound, including how many weeks you are in pregnancy, quality of the machine, and most important -- visibility of baby's genital area.
Pregnancy is a miracle every time. We know the science behind it, but there are such deep emotions and astonishment at the whole process of pregnancy and giving birth. Therefore, it's quite funny and exciting to put these methods to test and analyse the results.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.