Published on September 16th, 2020 and Updated on April 1st, 2021
When you’re pregnant, your friends and family might speculate on the gender of your baby. You hear everything from old wives’ tales to family myths. An elderly aunt may suspect you’re carrying a new great-niece based on your sudden sweet tooth. A friend may believe you should paint the nursery pink because of your mood swings as a pregnant woman.
Everyone has a theory. But what’s fact and what’s fiction? What are the real signs that you’re having a girl? And can a gender prediction test speak on behalf of these pregnancy symptoms?
5 Common Signs of a Baby Girl—Fact Checker Edition
Scientists and parents have sought out the symptoms of baby girl pregnancies for ages. While some theories are born from tradition with little scientific backing, others may have a seed of truth to them. The trick is knowing how to distinguish science from science-fiction when determining a baby’s sex.
#1 Extreme Mood Swings Mean You’re Having a Baby Girl
The Theory: Extreme mood swings mean that you’re having a girl because girls naturally produce more estrogen, which can cause mood swings.
The Facts: When you’re pregnant, your hormone levels are constantly changing, specifically estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogen and progesterone can also cause severe mood swings, so if you’re crying at car commercials one minute and espousing your love for your pregnancy pants the next, does that mean your little girl is giving you an extra dose of these moody hormones? Not really.
Both boys and girls are born with a high amount of estrogen, not because of their bodies, but because of the pregnant woman.
During a single pregnancy, your body produces more estrogen than throughout your entire non-pregnant life! That’s more than all of your moodiest PMS days (and then some) combined. For nine months. If this information causes a double take, we understand.
These hormone levels are high because they’re essential to a healthy pregnancy. Estrogen and progesterone create a nourishing environment for the baby by:
- Helping transfer nutrients to the baby from the placenta
- Encouraging developmental milestones in the womb
- Supporting the formation of blood vessels in the baby
The Verdict: Mood swings are just a normal part of pregnancy and not an indicator of a baby girl or a baby boy.
#2 Carrying High Means You’re Having a Girl
The Theory: Carrying high—meaning the most protruding part of a pregnant belly is high on a woman’s abdomen—means you’re having a girl.
The Facts: Where you carry your baby on the body depends more on your body type and muscle elasticity than what’s going on in your womb. Typically, if it’s a woman’s first pregnancy or if her body is more physically fit, the abdominal muscles will support the belly bump, placing it in a higher position. After the first pregnancy, those muscles become a little more stretched out, so the womb is usually held a bit lower on the body.
The Verdict: Carrying high or low isn’t an indicator of your baby’s gender. It’s more so related to body type and muscle tone.
#3 Being Stressed Around the Time of Conception Means You’ll Have a Girl
The Theory: Stress hormones in your body help you conceive a little girl.
The Facts: Strangely enough, this theory may have some scientific founding. Two recent studies might have found a link between stress levels in the mom and a baby’s gender.
Study #1 – UK, 2012
One study starts with stress research conducted at the University of Oxford. The primary study identified individuals who had higher than normal stress levels. Study participants with moderate to high stress levels who were also trying to get pregnant were then extended the opportunity to be a part of this secondary study.
The researchers collected daily saliva samples from the women to measure their cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone our brain releases when we’re feeling stressed. Out of the 338 women, 130 became pregnant during the study. Out of those 130 women, 72 had baby girls.
Why is that significant? The gender ratio of newborns across the world shows that about 100 girls are born for every 103-106 boys. That means newborns have just a little under a 50-50 split between girls and boys.
But in this study, 55% of the babies in the study were born girls.
The researchers do offer one disclaimer: “The present study is limited by its relatively small sample size and the results should be interpreted with caution, given its exploratory nature.”
However, the scientists did say they may have found a connection between the mom’s brain—where stress hormones are produced—and a baby’s gender.
Study #2 – Greece, 2013
Another study published in 2013 looked at the effects of stress on a community rather than the individual, and how those stress levels impacted gender ratios for newborns. The cause of that stress? A sequence of earthquakes.
From April 3rd to May 8th of 2006, moderate earthquakes rocked the Greek island of Zakynthos. A year after the event, male births fell.
For every 10 girl babies born, only 6 boys were born. That may not seem dramatic, but let’s put those numbers in context. The year before, the gender ratio was 1.1:1 favoring boys. After, it was 0.6:1.
That’s an almost 50% decrease in newborn boys’ birth rate in a single year.
The Verdict: The science of stress, the brain, and reproduction is certainly intriguing, but it’s still new. There’s a lot we still need to learn before we start stressing out potential moms who are hoping for a baby girl. Consistently high stress levels have been shown to be detrimental for both mom and baby. Our advice? Don’t stress and wait for further research before trusting this pregnancy symptom of having a girl. Practicing mindfulness and managing stress is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, which is why we recommend our at-home Fetal Doppler for calm meditation in sync with your baby’s heartbeat.
#4 Having a Sweet Tooth Indicates a Baby Girl
The Theory: Little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, so a sweet tooth means you’ve got a sweet little girl… right?
The Facts: A pregnancy sweet tooth is a lot more common than you think. In fact, more women crave sweet foods when they’re pregnant than salty foods. And since the gender ratio of newborns is about 100 girls for every 103-106 boys, this sweet myth is busted.
Why are pregnancy cravings such a common phenomenon? Why do things like chocolate cake and pickles together sound so delicious?
There are a few reasons your appetite may have changed since you’ve become pregnant.
- Hormones (again) – When your pregnancy cravings are in full swing, your appetite may feel bottomless. For that, you can thank your pregnant body’s ever-changing hormone levels. Beyond just mood hormones, your body uses a variety of hormones to send signals between the body and the brain. One of those hormones is Neuropeptide Y, or NPY. This hormone is an appetite stimulant.
Research shows that NPY increases during pregnancy, causing an appetite increase. Which makes sense—your body wants to encourage you to eat enough for you and the child!
- Super-powered pregnancy senses – Another side effect of pregnancy is an enhanced sense of smell and taste. Although scientists are still figuring out why the mom-to-be can suddenly smell a candy bar being opened from the other side of the house, these extra-sensory pregnancy abilities may affect your cravings or even contribute to symptoms of severe morning sickness in some cases.
The theory is that when your smell and taste senses are more sensitive, bad and bitter tastes become much more potent. But that means the sweeter things in life just got a lot more delicious. Your super pregnancy senses might make sweet foods taste better, fueling your cravings for all things sugary.
The intense experience of sweet foods act as an opposing force to the intensified bitter flavors in day-to-day foods. Think of it like adding sugar to coffee to cut the bitterness of the drink. A naturally sweet fruit juice might taste even sweeter than usual and may help your usual lunch salad go down easier.
- Gestational diabetes – Sugary pregnancy cravings sometimes come from a medical condition called gestational diabetes. It’s essentially a kind of diabetes that’s brought on by pregnancy, causing a glucose—or sugar—intolerance in the body. It also causes intense sugar cravings in the first and second trimester.
The good news? It only affects 10% of women in the US, goes away once you deliver your baby, and is easily managed through diet and exercise.
The Verdict: Your cravings may lean towards the sweeter side for myriad reasons, but the amount of M&M’s you devour doesn’t count as a one of the signs of having a baby boy or girl.
#5 A Breech Baby is a Girl Baby
The Theory: If you’re past 32 weeks and your baby is bottom-down and head’s up in the womb, you’re having a girl.
The Facts: A study of breech births in Hungary from 1996-2011 may have revealed a correlation between birth position and a baby’s gender. Researchers found that newborn girls had a 25% higher chance of a breech birth than boys.
The Verdict: While this is certainly an interesting finding, there are a few things to note:
- No additional studies have been conducted to refute or back-up this research.
- No theories have been developed to explain why babies who are breech have a 25% chance of being a female fetus, as opposed to a male fetus.
- 32 weeks is a long time to wait to find out the gender of your baby!
Perhaps future studies can help illuminate the scientific reasoning behind this study. But in the meantime, you don’t have to wait 32 weeks to discover if you’re having a girl or a boy.
In fact, you don’t even have to wait more than 8 weeks to determine your baby’s sex.
Enter the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test.
Finding Out if Your Baby’s a Girl Early
The signs and symptoms of a girl pregnancy can range from the traditional to the fantastical. Although science has come a long way distinguishing truth from myth, you want answers about your growing baby and you want them now! Or… as soon as scientifically possible. Unfortunately, you may not seek the best assurance from old wives tales, such as the pencil gender test, or arguments of whether gender based on heart rate is accurate. Fortunately, you can with SneakPeek.
Find your answers with the Sneakpeek Early Gender DNA Test.
The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test allows moms to learn the gender of their child as early as 8 weeks into pregnancy. You can take the gender blood test in the cozy comfort of your home. Just follow the simple and easy-to-understand instructions, send your sample to SneakPeek Labs in a prepaid package, and get your results soon after the package is received.
It’s safe, easy, and reliable. In fact, the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test was shown to be 99.9% accurate in laboratory studies.
You don’t have to puzzle out the signs from belly height or your sweet tooth—discover if you’re having a baby girl sooner than ever before with SneakPeek!
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