Perhaps it’s the mystery of the womb (only half the population have them, you know) or the all too real dangers of pregnancy and birth that makes people want to weave a protective armor around mother and child—even if that protection is made up of silly beliefs and fantastical antics.
Most people have heard some old wives’ tale about how to tell the sex of an unborn child. But maybe those old wives were a little wiser than history gives them credit for. If you’re expecting or know someone who is, test out these fun bits of folklore while you’re waiting for the bundle of joy to make its first appearance.
By the way, can you guess which one of these chestnuts is actually supported by scientific research?
- Women who lie on their right side while sleeping are carrying a boy and those who prefer the left are having a girl
- Ask to see the pregnant woman’s hands. If she shows them to you palms up, she’s carrying a girl; palms down, and it’s a boy
- A woman whose legs swell and get heavy during pregnancy is destined to have a son. If her legs stay trim and fit, a daughter is in her future
- Have you ever met a pregnant woman who didn’t look pregnant from the back, even at full term? Folk wisdom says that’s a sure sign of a baby boy. Women who can’t hide their pregnancy from any angle are carrying girls
- Women who suffer with extreme heartburn during pregnancy will have a baby with a full head of hair. Those who are heartburn-free will likely have beautiful baldies
- Remember the childhood nursery rhyme about girls being made of sugar and spice? It may come from an old superstition that says women who crave sweets during pregnancy will give birth to girls and those who can’t get enough salty snacks are sure to have boys
- If this is your second child, pay close attention to your first child’s behavior. If a toddler shows a lot of interest in its mother’s growing , there must be a girl inside. A disinterested toddler will soon have a little brother.
Did you spot the wives’ tale that even science can’t deny? According to research from Johns Hopkins Hospital, moms-to-be who complain of moderate to severe heartburn have an 82% chance of giving birth to a baby with a full head of hair. Who knew?