Finding out the sex of your baby is often one of the most fun parts of pregnancy (that is, if you want to find out the sex). Although some people prefer the gender reveal to occur during birth, others will want to know sooner so they can make important medical decisions ahead of time. And even those who want to know don't want to wait till the 20-week ultrasound to learn. So, rather than rely on accuracy, they turn to the signs you're having a boy.
It's important to remember that many gender indicators are rooted in myth, and although they can be fun, they may have no actual scientific basis. The more absolute ways of finding out the gender are through your medical provider. "Non-invasive testing or NIPT, is a blood test you can do as early as 10 weeks," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period tells Romper. NIPT is becoming more standard practice for all pregnant women and is performed to check for chromosomal conditions including: Trisomy 21 for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, 16, and 13. As an added feature, the results can also reveal gender.
The other way to tell gender is through more invasive prenatal tests. Ross says you can do Chronic Villi Samping (CVS) as early as 11 weeks, or Amniocentisis, which is done at 16 to 18 weeks. She explains that these tests, "are typically recommended for pregnant women over 40 or for those with high-risk pregnancies." Basically, their main purpose is for health reasons, not for gender determination.
Additionally, sonograms are another surefire way to find out the gender of your baby. "For a girl, at 16 weeks there would be a diamond sign," Ross says. "The technician or OB would be able to look between the legs and see that sign." As for determining if it's a boy she says the image on the screen will be very obvious. "For boys, you can literally see the penis and the ball sack, if baby is spread eagle, it looks like a penis."
If you just can't wait to find out if you're having a boy or a girl through medical tests, there may be some clues to help you figure it out. Here are five signs you may be having a boy, not all of which are scientific, but are simply a lot of fun.
1. You're Carrying Low
The saying goes like this: carrying high means a girl and carrying low means a boy. If you believe in old wives tales then by all means use this sign as a gender indicator for your baby. But according to Healthline, how you carry during your pregnancy has more to do with the shape of your uterus, your unique body type, and your abdominal muscles.
2. Your Morning Sickness Isn't That Bad Or Non-Existent
According to Web MD, a study done by researchers in Sweden found that women suffering from severe morning sickness, including the condition hyperemesis gravidarum, were more likely to be pregnant with girls than with boys.
That being said, morning sickness is thought to be caused by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or the hormone present in pregnancy as further explained by Web MD. Researchers in the study claimed that the hCG levels for a girl fetus versus a boy fetus were different.
3. Your Skin Is Unaffected By Pregnancy
The old wives tale says that if your skin is suffering during pregnancy, it's because a baby girl is stealing your beauty. But, according to the aforementioned Healthline article, how your skin looks is just a matter or hormones in general. You can't blame it on a boy or a girl.
4. You're Craving Salty And Sour Foods
The thought is that pregnant women who crave sweets are having a girl and those wanting salty or sour foods are having a boy. Anecdotally speaking, I have two girls, and while pregnant with them I craved both sweet and sour stuff — sometimes at the same time.
"People think their cravings are significant, but studies show no link between cravings and nutritional requirements," Judith Brown, a nutrition author said in a Baby Center article. "If people craved what the body needs, we would all eat more broccoli and less chocolate."
Brown said in some cases there may be a biological reason for cravings. For example, if a pregnant woman is having a bizarre craving for laundry starch, dirt, or clay (a condition called pica), this may indicate an iron deficiency. But mostly cravings and aversions seem to be anecdotal.
5. Your Baby's Heartbeat Is Below 140 BPMs
Next time your provider pulls out the fetal Doppler ask what the heartbeat is. According to Parenting, the legend is that if your baby's heartbeat is below 140 beats per minute (BPM) then it's a boy.
"I don’t think to my knowledge they’ve proven any of these are accurate signs to determine gender," Ross says. She points to the blood tests and sonograms as the surefire ways to figure out if you're having a boy or a girl.
How much weight you give to gender in your planning depends on your personal preferences. In the end, it's a 50-50 chance either way.