Is it a boy or a girl?

Monday, August 21, 2006
When you're pregnant, there's one question that everyone seems to think they have a right to ask — is it a boy or is it a girl?

Well, for years, mothers have been trying to figure out the sex of their unborn child based on a load of old wives' tales. But can you really determine the sex of your unborn child based on those old theories?

We're going to put these to the test and find out once and for all.

These days, learning the sex of your unborn child is as simple as having an ultrasound. But way back when, it was all guess work, and some pretty imaginative tests —but did they work?

Helping us out on this quest are mums-to-be who have no idea if they're carrying boys or girls: Emma, Michelle, Suzanne, Marissa and Rachel.

Test one: the wedding ring pendulum

One of the more common myths is the wedding ring on the chain or piece of string. Side to side equals girl, and round and round equals boy.

Girls are forecasted for: Emma, Marissa and Rachel.
Boys for Michelle and Susan.

Test two: drain cleaner

For this test, we'll be requiring a urine sample and a teaspoon of drain cleaner.

When the two are combined, the myth says green equals girl, blue equals boy.

When the drain cleaner results are tallied, all the ladies appear to be headed for little girl land, with one exception, Marissa.

Test three: the Chinese lunar calendar

The Chinese calendar gives us a way of telling whether you are going to have a boy or a girl based on your lunar age, which is found out by adding two years to your actual age when you conceive the child. Then we use the calendar to correlate that with the month that it was conceived and then it will tell us whether it's a boy or girl.

Once the calculations are completed, the Chinese lunar calendar tells us that Michelle, Suzanne and Rachel are having boys. Emma and Marissa are having girls.

Test four: the heart rate

Now, to do something a little more scientific — they say if your heart rate is over 140 you're going to have a boy, if it's under 140 you're going to have a girl.

One thing we can confirm is that the equipment works a treat and all those little tackers in the tummies are beating at 140 or over.

So according to this old wives' tale, all five women are going to have a boy.

But will any of our four tests, the pendulum, drain cleaner, Chinese birth chart, or heart rate, prove to be accurate?

It seems that, so far, the only thing we've really found out is that these myths just contradict each other. So the only way to find out what's what is to give birth to them.

Five healthy bubs have finally arrived, so it's now time to find out the results of our gender predictors.

  • Michelle had a boy — the heart rate test, the lunar calendar, and pendulum, all got that right.

  • Suzanne welcomed a little boy too — again, the heart rate, calendar and pendulum predicted it. Two for two, but the drain cleaner's got none.

  • Marissa had a girl — another one each for the Chinese calendar and the pendulum.

  • Emma, another girl — and would you believe the lunar calendar and pendulum haven't missed yet. The drain cleaner's finally on the board.

  • The pendulum thought a girl for Rachel, the calendar said boy — and it's a girl.

Five from five for the pendulum. So, those results again:

  • Two from five on the heart rate.
  • Two from five for the drain cleaner.
  • Four out of five for the Chinese lunar calendar.
  • The wedding ring pendulum didn't miss a trick with five out of five.

Maybe it's just one of those freaky things, but somehow, the ring seemed to know exactly what to do.

So just remember: side to side it's a girl, round and round it's a boy.

However, it's worth remembering that just because it worked for us doesn't mean it's going to work for you. Let's be honest … it's a wedding ring, it's not an ultrasound. But if you want the definitive answer on life's greatest mystery, just wait — you'll get the answer in the end.

  • Up to half the mums with newborns are prone to temporary hair loss. When they are pregnant, their oestrogen level shoots up, stopping the natural hair growth cycle. After the birth, their oestrogen drops again, and the hair cycle resumes. All the hairs that should have fallen out during pregnancy fall out over the next few months. Thankfully, it's only temporary.

  • It seems the weather before conception might influence your baby's gender. A German study looked at weather patterns and births, over 50 years. It found unseasonably hot weather a month before conception led to more boys and especially cold weather led to more girls. The thinking is, the hotter weather might effect dad's testes, and result in more Y chromosome sperm, which produces boys.

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