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Predict the gender of your baby (Part 1)

If I had to guess … this cat is having a boy.

cat pregnancy
You know I discourage the questioning of if a woman is even pregnant at all. Strangers seem to love to comment on a protruding belly though. They also love doling out unsolicited comments and advice. Most of the time these comments are harmless, but they can cause anxiety and turmoil for the pregnant woman.

Women often come to me anxious after a stranger has looked at their pregnant belly and said definitively “you are having a boy/girl” (when, of course, the ultrasound has shown the opposite). The baby shower has been planned, appropriately colored gifts given, and the mental preparation for a certain gender is in full effect. Hearing the opposite of what you are preparing for, even if it is from some random stranger, is unsettling. Ultrasounds have about a 95% diagnostic rate of fetal gender, so I go with the ultrasound findings rather than a stranger’s comments.

Is there any truth behind these (non ultrasound based) gender predictors? Is it fact? Folklore? Complete and utter nonsense? I need a few posts to cover this topic.

If you’re “carrying high”: girl.
If you’re “carrying low”: boy.
If you see the cat above: she’s carrying pretty low. This is why I said she must be having a boy.

Science? The one study I could find said the opposite of the above – it said carrying high and up front means it’s a boy. We’re not starting off good if we can’t even agree on the proper correlation.

Regardless, the study found no correlation between the shape of the woman’s abdomen and the gender of the fetus. They compared the woman’s perception of the shape of her abdomen and, separately, a doctor’s description of how the patient was carrying her pregnancy. No correlation at all.

This study showed that up to 40% of women couldn’t even tell if they were carrying high or low. When the patient’s description was compared with a doctor’s exam, the agreement was not good either.
We do know that the position of the uterus in the pelvis, the position of the fetus, and abdominal muscle tone all affect the shape of the abdomen. Other factors like weight gain and body shape contribute as well.

I’m rating this predicting method: complete and utter nonsense.


Study: Perry, D et al. “Are Women Carrying “Baseketballs” Really Having Boys? Testing Pregnancy Folklore”. Birth 26:3 September 1999


Mar 11, 2013

Original post published: 

* Content reviewed annually for accuracy 

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