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Pregnancy Myths and Determining a Baby's Gender

Although a sonogram can indicate your baby's gender with up to 95 percent accuracy, most folklore relating to determining your baby's gender is just that — folklore. Your baby's position and rate of heart beat, as well as your pregnancy symptoms, probably won't give you clues about your baby's gender, although your intuition might. Use gender-determining myths as a fun game, but don't put too much stock in them. Skip any methods that may be dangerous.

RELATED: The Extremes of Gender Selection

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy symptoms, such as heartburn, maternal dietary cravings or hair growth, aren't predictive of the sex of your baby, says pediatrician Harry L. Broome Jr., from Phoenix Arizona. These symptoms are more likely to be influenced by diet, stress or your individual response to pregnancy.

The One Exception

Although the sex of your baby probably won't play a role in minor bouts of nausea, moms carrying a girl are more likely to experience severe morning sickness in the first trimester, according to a 2004 study by University of Washington researchers. According to the study, women hospitalized for severe nausea, or hyperemesis gravidarum, in the first trimester were 50 percent more likely to have a girl. Women hospitalized for three or more days were most likely to have a girl. Researchers believe higher levels of estrogen are responsible for the increased rate of severe morning sickness in moms who are expecting girls.

The Baby

You may have heard that the rate of the baby's heartbeat can help determine whether you're having a boy or girl. Another myth is that moms expecting a boy carry the baby low while moms expecting a girl carry the baby high. Sometimes this myth is reversed. None of these indicators are accurate, advised Broome, although male babies tend to weigh about 3 ounces more than females, and moms carrying boys are more likely to deliver via cesarean section.

RELATED: Old Wives' Tales to Guess a Baby's Gender

Mom's Intuition

Turns out that aside from a sonogram, mom's intuition is one of the most reliable methods for determining whether to buy pink or blue. A 1998 study published by the University of Arizona found that 70 percent of women who had a feeling about the sex of their baby were right. A 1999 study at Johns Hopkins University found similar results. Women who had dreams about the sex of their baby tended to have the most accurate results.

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