Like many multi-child mothers with same-sex children, I have my eye on a certain gender this pregnancy. While I’m not much for wives tales, one particular suggestion caught my more scientifically-swayed side. It’s often said that pregnancy symptoms can predict baby gender. This is suggested to be due to the difference in hormones a girl or boy baby require. A quick poll of pregnancy symptoms and sexes of said pregnancy’s offspring on my Facebook page for parents, which boosts about ten thousand, however, found no theme in pregnancy symptoms and sex of the child. Still curious, I voted to dig just a little deeper.
Do girls and boys really cause different hormone surges during pregnancy? Is it possible to predict baby gender based on pregnancy symptoms?
The real test of this wives tale lies solely in the supposed scientific basis. If it’s false that hormone levels don’t vary with the sex of your baby, then the whole idea is blown to diaper bits. Luckily, it isn’t false, at least based on studies done so far. Research does currently support that hormone levels vary depending on the sex of your baby as early as three weeks along.
Hormones high in girls to predict baby gender:
HCG–yes, that’s the same hormone that made your pregnancy test positive-has been shown to often be higher in mothers who are pregnant with little girls. This is why studies have also proven that women pregnant with girls experience higher rates of the pregnancy symptoms nausea and morning sickness. HCG is a known culprit of both.
Hormones high in boys to predict baby gender:
Testosterone: Beginning around week 7 and peaking around week 9 to 11, a surge of testosterone is actually what prompts the development of male sex organs. The lack thereof causes the development of female organs by the way, not a surge of estrogen or “female hormones.” While no studies were found to confirm a correlation between higher testosterone and indicative pregnancy symptoms, those would include increased hair growth, darkening of body hair, and/or excessive acne or oily skin.
There are, of course, other hormones secreted during pregnancy, and even by your baby in later weeks. These two are just the two that are suggested to surge, so to speak, sufficiently to cause a differentiation in symptoms. Keep in mind of course, that many women who experience horrible morning sickness have little boys, and many women who have hair changes or acne have girls.
Gender determination based on hormone levels hasn’t been proven reliable even with blood samples (excluding a DNA test). So, none of the above is really better than a wives tale, but it may at least offer you something to ponder while you wait for that gender-determining ultrasound moment.
Did this wives tale accurately predict baby gender for your pregnancy? It was for all three of my boys and for the little girl we are now expecting. You may also enjoy our baby gender determination quiz based on the science of gender swaying.