Old Wives Tales

So, everyone now knows that a new baby is on the way.  Congratulations, tears and hugs have been exchanged and now the guessing games and amateur predictions begin.  Let’s face it - who doesn’t love a good “Old Wives Tale” to keep us entertained.  But is there any truth behind them and can they really predict the gender of your soon to arrive baby?

Just for fun have a look at some our 5 favourite (but not evidence based) Old Wives Tales.  And… take note of our Resident Midwife’s opinion (again not evidence based) on if there is any truth behind them! 

1. Really feeling green? - this could be an indication that you are “In the pink!”

Midwife's verdict - there have actually been some studies exploring this however, results were inconclusive.  Therefore I would hold off decorating the nursery pink between bouts of vomiting as you may need to get your paintbrush back out when Little Boy Blue arrives!

2. How quickly is your little ones heart beating? 

It has long been mentioned that if your baby’s heart rate is under 140 beats per minute,  a little boy may be on the way and that faster heartbeats could indicate a baby girl.  

Midwife's verdict - Although there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this when looking after women in labour, I do use this as a tool to guess!  However, anyone who has had me looking after them well confirm I am absolutely useless as guessing baby’s gender.  So, I guess it really is just an Old Wives’ Tale!

3 . How you sleep - apparently, sleeping on your right side could indicate a baby girl, sleeping on your left - it’s a boy.

Midwife's verdict - “Absolute tosh!”  Sleeping position is important and women should avoid sleeping flat on their back.  The optimal position is lying on your left hand side however, please do not worry if you find yourself on the right side.

4. Which way does your wedding ring swing?

An oldie but a goodie and a great one to try at your baby shower.  Thread a ring that you wear through a necklace and get your friend to hold it still above your bump.  Round and round and you need to get practicing your plaits and pony tails.  Side to side and get ready for grubby hands, fingers and toes when your little boy is playing rough and tumble!

Midwife's verdict - this is another one that I enjoyed trying when I was having my babies.  Did it work?  Nope!  It predicted 3 boys and I have 1 boy and 1 girl!  It was fun trying it out though!

5. Are you carrying a hairy baby?  If you are suffering from heartburn, that Old Witch will tell you that your baby will have a full head of hair.

Midwife's verdict  although there are a couple of (really small) studies that back this theory, up to 45% of women will suffer with significant heartburn during their pregnancy.  During pregnancy a hormone called progesterone acts as a muscle relaxer to aid your growing baby.  This can result in your esopsageal sphincter not closing as it should, allowing acid to travel the wrong way.  Burn baby burn.  So, you may have a hairy baby, you may not, but there is a high chance you will have a little bit of heartburn during your pregnancy!

One thing is for sure girl or boy, heartburn or no heartburn, exciting times are ahead!