I went to a baby shower for a sweet friend a couple of weeks ago, and we tested a few old wives’ tales to predict the gender instead of looking at a home gender test Australia and other countries can provide. The tales ranged from intriguing to ridiculous (if the maternal grandmother has gray hair, then the baby is a boy. So gray-haired grandmas can only have grandsons!?) But it turns out that some of the lore isn’t so far-fetched. Today, I’m putting on my detective cap and investigating some well known old wives’ tales. These aren’t just about gender, but pregnancy in general.
This post is part of a virtual baby shower, so be sure to find the links at the end when you’re done reading! I have several blogging friends who have either just had a little one (Heidi from Grow Family Love) or are expecting little ones in the next couple of months (Jessica from Intentional in Life and Julie from Jules and Co). As a way to celebrate these sweet new babies, a few bloggers and I teamed up to throw them a “party”! In it, you’ll find links full of mom advice, baby gear that you do and don’t need, and even what NOT to do at a baby shower. But first up- the entertainment 🙂
Old Wives’ Tales: Science or Fiction?
If you carry the baby high, it’s a girl. If you carry low, it’s a boy.
This one was true for me. I carried Miss H high, and Baby E low. But it seems to have more to do with birth order than gender. Your muscles are stronger with the first baby, so they sit higher. Experienced mamas have experienced muscles, and the baby tends to sit lower. (Source: Kids Health)
Drinking lots of water keeps amniotic fluid clean
I remember hearing this when I was pregnant with Miss H, and wouldn’t you know it, I drank tons of water to keep her nice and clean in there. (That’s the problem when you get most of your pregnancy information from birth boards!) I’m glad that water drinking is necessary, because otherwise all those subsequent bathroom breaks were in vain! (Source: Just Mommies)
Heartburn during pregnancy means a baby with a full head of hair
Heartburn during pregnancy is the worst! But the bright side is that you can get through it by imagining your sweet, full-head-of-hair baby. This one is surprisingly true! A study completed about 10 years ago by Johns Hopkins showed that a hormone that produces heartburn also produces baby hair. (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information)
The baby’s heart rate can predict the gender
When I was pregnant with Baby E, I was sure that this was true: if the baby’s heart beat is more than 140, it’s a girl. If the heartbeat is less than 140, it’s a boy. I even tried to convince my nurse practitioner that this was true! But Baby E’s heart rate stayed above 140 most of the time- so the old wives and I were proven wrong! (Source: Kidspot)
Putting your arms above your head harms the baby
This is another one of those head-scratchers: it seems too obvious that this is false! Apparently, this lore began when woman had a lot of physical work and heavy lifting to do around the house (or farm?) (Source: Kidspot)
A ring can tell you your baby’s gender
This tale goes that you tie a ring to a string and hold it about your baby belly, and if it swings in a circle, you’re having a boy. If it swings like a pendulum, you’re having a girl. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when the old wives came up with this one! There isn’t any science to back this up- but you didn’t need me to tell you that 🙂 (Source: Today’s Parent)
Long labor equals a boy
This wasn’t my experience at all! My labor with Baby E was seven hours, which was three hours shorter than my labor with Miss H! But, he weighed almost a pound more than her (at almost 9 1/2 pounds!) A baby boy’s weight and head size are typically bigger, which can slow down labor. (Source: Daily Mail)
Walking induces labor
I’m not convinced that walking doesn’t induce labor, but according to this article at Parenting.com, it doesn’t. When Miss H was a few days overdue, I walked as much as I could, sometimes stepping up and down on the curb for extra baby-freeing force.
Just for fun, share with me the silliest old wives’ tales that someone told you while you were pregnant!
Virtual Baby Shower
And don’t leave the party just yet- make sure to visit these lovely mamas’ blogs!
Tiffany from Short Sweet Mom- 15 Things NOT to do at a Baby Shower
Susan from Glorious Mom Blog- Buy This, Not That: Baby Gear Edition
Julie from Jules and Co- Minimalist Essentials for the New Baby
Melanie at A Funny Thing Happened Today- 50 Things You Really Need for a New Baby, And 10 Things You Don’t
Meghna from Love, Life, and the Little One- What a Pospartum Mother Wants from Her Husband
Robin at Smashed Cereal- How to Save Money on Formula