As soon as you learn that you’re pregnant, it’s the next big question.
Are you having a boy or a girl?
Modern science has provided us with a tremendous tool for answering this question: the sonogram. If you can’t wait until your 18-20 week appointment for an ultrasound, however, there are plenty of traditions and old wives’ tales to give you an early answer.
Of course, most of these are bunk, but they’re still fun. Here’s a look at a few of the strangest and most popular gender prediction methods.
1. Carrying High or Carrying Low?
This is possibly the most famous old wives’ tale regarding gender. If you’re carrying high (meaning that the bump is high on your abdomen), you’re having a girl; if you’re carrying low, it’s a boy.
In reality, women tend to carry “high” when they have well-developed abdominal muscles. The size of the baby can also play a role, but the gender of the baby, of course, does not.
2. The Acne Indicator
As the lore goes, acne indicates that you’re having a girl. Clear skin means that you’ve got a bouncing baby boy on the way.
But a pregnant woman’s complexion has nothing to do with the gender of her baby. Pregnancy prompts a host of hormonal changes in a woman’s body, which can cause her to develop an acne outbreak—regardless of the gender of the baby.
3. Morning Sickness
If you get bad morning sickness during your first trimester, you’re having a girl, but bad morning sickness later in the pregnancy indicates a boy. Simple, right?
As you might have guessed, there’s no science to back this lore up. Women respond to the massive physical and chemical changes of pregnancy very differently. Some get severe morning sickness, while others don’t.
4. Left or Right?
If you prefer to sleep on your left side, or if your left breast grows more than your right breast, you’re having a boy. Changes that favor the right side of your body indicate a girl.
Once again, there’s nothing to this; the baby’s gender isn’t linked to a specific structure on one side of your body. Hormonal changes simply affect every woman differently, so you might notice more changes on a particular side of your body. Likewise, you may simply prefer sleeping on one side—there’s nothing hormonal happening there.
5. Weight Gain
This one actually has some scientific basis, although it’s far from a sure bet. If you gain less than 20 pounds during a pregnancy, you’ll have a girl.
An observational study that looked at 68 million births found this to be fairly true, although there are outliers (so you won’t want to skip that sonogram).
It’s also worth noting that this study measured correlation, not causation—you can’t change the gender of your child by gaining less weight, and as Cosmopolitan reports, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology recommends a 25 to 35 pound weight gain for a healthy pregnancy (regardless of the gender of the child).