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Entering parenthood is a wonderfully exciting time! With your baby on the way, you may choose to find out the baby’s sex so you can prepare.
There are useful medical techniques that can tell you your baby’s sex quite accurately around the middle of your pregnancy.
These are the only reliable methods for finding out the sex.
However, it can also be fun to try to predict the sex using traditional or ancient methods, though they haven’t been proven to be accurate.
Using Reliable Medical Techniques
Mark your calendar for 18 weeks into your pregnancy.
You can usually determine the baby’s sex starting between 16-20 weeks into your pregnancy.
It gets easier to tell around 18 weeks, so your best bet is to wait until then.
Schedule your second trimester ultrasound for around this time.
You can find out your estimated date of delivery (EDD) when you have your first ultrasound at around 8-14 weeks of pregnancy.
This is the best way to know how far along in your pregnancy you really are.
See your OB/GYN for an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds (also called sonograms) make images of your baby using sound waves in a safe and non-invasive way.
See a skilled doctor, nurse, or ultrasound technician.
They can usually tell the baby’s sex by looking at their genitals on the ultrasound.
When you schedule your ultrasound, ask your doctor if there are any specific instructions you should follow – you may need to drink a certain amount of fluids or avoid going to the bathroom before your ultrasound.
The ultrasound may not help if your baby is in a position that makes it hard to see their genitals.
Ultrasounds are not 100% accurate for predicting the sex, though they’re close.
You may still get the wrong answer due to human error.
The position of the fetus can also make it difficult to tell for sure if it is male or female.
Pursue non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
If an ultrasound doesn’t tell you what you want to know, talk to your OB/GYN about NIPT.
Non-invasive prenatal testing is done by taking a blood sample from the mother.
It can look for sex chromosomes to determine if the baby is a boy or a girl.
This is a relatively common, accurate, and affordable option, and may even be offered as part of your prenatal care.
This may vary, however, so call your health insurance company to ask if it’s covered if you’re worried about cost.
NIPT also checks for Down syndrome and some other abnormalities, so is a valuable test for several reasons.
It can be done after 10 weeks into your pregnancy.
Discuss more invasive testing with your doctor.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis are tests that look for abnormalities in your baby’s genetics.
They are usually only done if your baby is at risk for having genetic problems.
If you do have one, request to find out your baby’s sex, as well.
Do not pursue these simply to find out the sex – they can be uncomfortable and carry a small risk of miscarriage.
CVS is performed between 10-13 weeks of pregnancy, and amniocentesis is done between 16-20 weeks.
Predicting by Traditional Methods
Chart your morning sickness.
Old wives tales say that if you suffer from morning sickness a lot in the first three months of pregnancy, you’ll have a girl.
Keep a log or chart of your morning sickness.
You may be more likely to have a girl if you have morning sickness and feel ill throughout your pregnancy, according to some modern studies.
Little or no morning sickness might mean a boy is on the way.
It’s normal to have morning sickness most in the first trimester because of your changing hormones, so this method isn’t very reliable.
Identify your cravings preference.
Another old wives tale bases its predictions on cravings during pregnancy.
This prediction method suggests that if you crave sweets, then you are likely to be having a girl, and if you crave salty or spicy things, you are likely to be having a boy.
For example, if you crave donuts during pregnancy, then you may be having a girl.
However, if you crave nachos, then you may be having a boy.
Keep in mind that this is not a proven method.
Use a Chinese gender chart.
Use your birthday and the date of the baby’s conception to guess the sex based on a Chinese gender chart.
Simply input those two dates onto the grid and see where they line up – on male or female.
This ancient method claims to be very accurate, though no research support it.
Try a gender chart here for fun.
Find your extra baby weight.
Look in the mirror and notice where you’re gaining your extra baby weight.
This is an old method of guessing the sex, though it’s not scientifically backed.
If your extra weight is on your hips and buttocks, you may be having a girl; if it’s at the front of your belly, a boy may be on the way.
Make a ring pendulum.
Tie your wedding ring or another ring to a string and let it swing over your belly.
Watch which way it swings.
If it moves in a circle, legend says you’re having a boy; if it moves side to side, a girl.
There’s no science to back this up, but try it just for fun!