OK, so a scan’s the most foolproof method of finding out the sex of your unborn baby. But there are plenty of other signs that can indicate whether you’re likely to have a girl or a boy.
And we’re not talking about old wives’ tales here. Modern scientific research has unearthed some surprising clues as to who might be hiding under that bump.
IT’S (PROBABLY) A BOY IF…
You have an assertive, aggressive,
bold or dominant personality
Research by Dr Valerie Grant at Auckland University in New Zealand reveals that women who see themselves as having “masculine” traits are more likely to have boys.
This may be because their levels of testosterone are higher than those in other women, which in turn might make the environment of the womb more receptive to implantation of male embryos than female ones.
Want to know your personality profile? Visit www.sexratio.com and take Dr Grant’s test to find out.
You’re always hungry
Women expecting boys eat about 10 per cent more than those expecting girls, according to recent research from Harvard School of Public Health.
The study’s author, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, believes it’s because boys tend to weigh more than girls when they are born so the mother’s appetite naturally adapts to help them take on more fuel.
You ate lots of bananas before you conceived
If your diet is rich in high-potassium food such as bananas or pears you are more likely to conceive a boy.
A study in the International Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology reveals that the body becomes more alkaline if you eat this way.
And some experts claim this is a better environment for sperm that is carrying the male Y chromosomes, increasing the chance that one of these will reach the egg first.
You have a tricky labour
OK, it’s leaving it a little late and when you’re in labour the last thing you’d be looking for are any clues as to what colour to paint the nursery. But there is still an interesting link between boy babies and tough births.
Irish researcher Dr Maeve Eogan found that women who had boys at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin were more likely to have had a longer labour or to need help such as forceps or a caesarean – mainly because boys have bigger heads.
IT’S (PROBABLY) A GIRL IF…
You’re dreaming it is
Sleep on this one… Dr Janet DiPietro at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore found that 75 per cent of mums correctly predicted the sex of their unborn baby in their dreams.
Your asthma is as bad as ever
Dr Peter Gibson, from the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia, found that 60 per cent of asthmatics carrying boys were symptom-free during pregnancy, compared to only 28 per cent carrying girls.
“We don’t know why, but it’s possible that baby girls produce a substance that somehow worsens inflammation in the airways,” says Dr Gibson.
You got pregnant between
March and May
This is the peak conception time for girls – boys are more commonly conceived from September to November. The seasonal difference might be because girls are hardier babies and can survive the winter better, says Dr Angelo Cagnacci from the Policlinico of Modena, Italy.
You or your partner smoke
Smokers are 20 per cent more likely to have girls than boys.
“Sperm cells carrying the Y chromosome are more sensitive to unfavourable changes caused by smoking, so are less likely to fertilise and implant an egg,” says Professor Anne Grete Byskov from the Laboratory of Reproductive Biology in Copenhagen.
Your partner is older than you
Couples where the woman is younger have more girls than those where she’s older. Why isn’t known.
You’ve gained weight on
your hips and thighs
Dr DiPietro found no evidence to support the old theory that “boy” bumps look like basketballs and “girl” bumps are more spread across the tummy, but she did find a difference in where you put on weight.
Carrying a girl causes a mum-to-be to put more weight on her hips and thighs. This may be because oestrogen levels in the body are raised and this promotes fat storage in these particular areas.