If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember your last pregnancy or whether you're conveniently forgetting some parts), but one of the things that can actually influence your experience is whether you're carrying a boy or a girl. There are some ways your pregnancy will be different if you have a boy versus when you have a girl that, if you've only ever had one or the other before, you might want to know about.
Although some of the pregnancy differences that come with having a boy vs having a girl may or may not be securely rooted in science, since many parents-to-be like to guess or predict if they'll have a boy or a girl, they're still fun to know about. Plus, some of the ways that your pregnancy experience likely will be different if you're having a boy vs a girl actually are based in some science, even if the evidence is still somewhat limited. Paying attention to some of your pregnancy experiences might help you better-predict whether you're having a boy or a girl, but even if they don't tell you much, they can be a fun way to pass the time until you can find out.
1. You're More Squeamish At The Beginning
While you might think that this is specifically linked to morning sickness and feelings of nausea during early pregnancy, it's not, it's actually something different. A study conducted by Polish researchers found that moms carrying boys were more easily grossed out early on in pregnancy than moms of girls, as the website for TODAY reported. So while you may or may not suffer from actual morning sickness, if the idea of sweaty clothes, rodents, and the like grosses you out, you might be having a boy.
2. You Gain A Lot Of Weight
The author of a 2014 paper published in PLOS ONE asserted that the more weight you gain during your pregnancy, the higher the chance that you'll give birth to a baby boy, while if you gain less weight during pregnancy, you might have a higher chance of having a baby girl. Though gestational weight gain can be influenced by a lot of different things, if you've gained quite a bit of weight during this pregnancy, it could potentially be one more clue that you're having a boy.
3. Your Belly Might Look A Certain Way
Though the shape of your bump likely isn't an accurate predictor of if you'll have a boy or girl, a different article from the website for TODAY noted that an old wives' tale says that if your belly is round and looks like a basketball, you might be having a boy, while if it's oval-shaped, your baby might be a little girl.
4. Your Immune System Will React Differently To Threats
Interestingly enough, there are also some differences in the way your immune system responds while pregnant if you're having a boy vs a girl. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that there can be a difference in the number of something called cytokines, which are a marker for your immune response, as noted in a post on Science Daily. Moms carrying baby girls exhibited a more inflammatory response (more cytokines), while moms carrying boys didn't experience as much inflammation when their immune system was exposed to threats. While inflammation is important in fighting things off, too much is also a problem, so scientists predicted that it could, perhaps, be why pregnant women carrying girls tend to have worsened asthma and other conditions during their pregnancies, compared to women carrying boys.
5. The Fetal Heart Rate Will Be Slower
This is something that may or may not actually be a good indicator for whether you're having a baby boy or girl. The old wives' tale goes that male fetuses have lower fetal heart rates than female fetuses, which have higher fetal heart rates, as the website for TODAY noted. However, OB-GYN Dr. Michael Randell told the website that fetal heart beats can change rapidly and a 2006 study published in Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy found that there wasn't a measurable difference between the fetal heart rates of male or female fetuses during the first trimester.
6. You Have Lower Levels Of A Certain Hormone
Moms-to-be of baby boys might have lower levels of certain hormones. Scientific American reported that moms of girls often have higher levels of HCG — which is the hormone that shows up on home pregnancy tests — in the second and third trimesters. For moms carrying male fetuses, this could help make pregnancy a happier experience.
7. You'll Glow
While this is a bit of an old wives' tale, it's said that baby girls steal Mom's beauty, resulting in duller, more acne-prone skin and duller, thinner-looking hair, as Babygaga noted. For moms of baby boys, the opposite is said to be the case. You'll glow throughout your entire pregnancy.
8. You Might Have Less Actual Morning Sickness
Moms carrying baby boys might be more squeamish, but they seem to have less — or less severe — morning sickness. A 1999 study published in The Lancet found that most pregnant women who have hyperemesis gravidarum, a much more serious kind of sickness during pregnancy, are carrying baby girls. If you seem to breeze through your pregnancy without debilitating morning sickness, you might be having a boy. But it's not a definite thing — you can be carrying a baby boy and also deal with hyperemesis gravidarum, but it's less likely.
9. You Might Carry Lower
Although this is likely just a myth, some people swear that if you're carrying high, you're going to have a girl, while if you're carrying low, the baby's a boy, as Healthline noted. However, there are a lot of different things that can affect this, from your anatomy to your abdominal muscles and even the position that the baby is in. Take it with a grain of salt.
10. You Might Crave Salty Things
In the previously-mentioned article, Healthline reported that while some people think that salty food cravings indicate that you're having a boy and sweet food cravings mean you're having a girl, there's no conclusive evidence regarding either. In all likelihood, your cravings really can't tell you whether your baby is a boy or a girl, but you never know. If you have a lot of salty cravings, maybe there really is a baby boy in your future.
11. Estradiol Levels In Your Blood Might Be Lower
While it's unlikely that general maternal estrogen levels are higher with a girl or lower with a boy, a 2011 study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women carrying female fetuses had higher concentrations of estradiol in their blood than women carrying male fetuses.
Ultimately, there are only a few ways to feel confident about whether your baby is a boy or a girl, so if you just can't wait to find out, talking to your doctor about sonograms and certain tests can be a good place to start.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.