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Health & Pregnancy

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Can You Guess Your Baby's Sex?

Trying to tell whether it's a boy or girl? Here's what works -- and what doesn't.

Pregnancy Myth #1: Carrying Low

Myth: If your belly hangs low (or in front), you're having a boy. If it's high (or wide in the middle), you're having a girl.

Reality: This one is pure myth. "How you carry simply has to do with the tone of your muscles and the position that the baby is in," Beard says. These factors, along with your body shape and how much weight you gain during pregnancy -- not the baby's gender -- will determine how low or high your belly sits.

Pregnancy Myth #2: Rhythm of the Heart

Myth: If the baby's heart beats faster than 140 beats per minute, it's a girl.

Reality: This is a myth Mass says her patients ask her about on a daily basis, and there might actually be a wee bit of truth to it.

A 2006 study showed no gender-related differences in fetal heart rate during the first trimester, but Mass says that's no surprise, considering that babies' hearts beat faster in general during the first 28 to 30 weeks of pregnancy. It's later in the pregnancy when the difference becomes apparent. A 1999 study showed that just before delivery, a female baby's heart does beat faster than a male's. Mass says she sees a similar trend in her own patients.

Pregnancy Myth #3: Swinging on a Hair

Myth: Hang your wedding ring from a strand of the father's hair over your belly. If the ring swings around in circles, it's a girl. If it sways back and forth, it's a boy. An alternate version of this myth recommends dangling a pin over the mother's wrist.

Reality: There's no real evidence to confirm or deny this one. Mass doesn't see any scientific basis for it, but she says people who follow traditional Chinese medicine might explain the dangling ring (or pin) as evidence of the body's natural forces at work.

Pregnancy Myth #4: The Drano Test

Myth: Stir some Drano into your urine. If the mixture turns green, it's a boy. Other color changes have been proposed for this myth, but green is one of the most common.

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