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Mothers Can Often Predict the Sex of Their Babies

By Sierra Black |

New Scientist has sent one of their reporters, who happens to be pregnant, to do a little investigative research on the power of old wives tales to predict who’s inside that bump.

“Women’s Intuition” won the day. While all the other tales she investigated turned up duds, Linda Geddes reports that she’s expecting a daughter. An ultrasound confirmed the feeling she’s had for weeks that her baby would be a girl.

She’s not relying on her own anecdotal experience alone, though. There’s research that shows over three quarters of women can accurately guess the sex of their baby.

Of women who said they had a powerful sense about their unborn baby’s sex, either through simple intuition or being informed in a dream, 60 percent guessed correctly. Pretty good.

But when women who also said they preferred one sex or another were removed from the group, the correct guesses among the remaining women shot up to 78 percent. I’ve used birth control methods less reliable than that.

I was certain from the first weeks of my first pregnancy that I would have a daughter, and so was everyone who knew me. I was so sure that I cheerfully collected little dresses while pregnant, even though we never had an ultrasound. And a perfect little girl is exactly what I got.

I tend to believe pretty heavily in intuition, but I’ve always secretly suspected I just got lucky. Now I’m not so sure.

Photo:Myllissa

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About Sierra Black

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Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Mothers Can Often Predict the Sex of Their Babies

  1. marcy says:

    Every dream I had during pregnancy and even before I got pregnant was of a son.
    He’s now 3.

  2. Comstock says:

    Without statistical analysis I’m taking this with a huge grain of salt. So 60 percent of around 100 women were right? Sounds like this could be chance, to me. Not saying it’s impossible, but these numbers seem pretty loose to me.

  3. ann05 says:

    I don’t believe in intuition, and yet I knew from the very beginning I was having a boy. I never doubted (and I had been hoping for a girl!). He’s a boy. I guess it makes sense to me that different changes in your body might somehow alert you to what sex kid you’re having.

  4. austinmom says:

    I always thought I would have a boy and a girl and then when I got pregnant with first one, I said it is going to be a boy before I had ultrasound….he is now almost 5…then I said I wanted to have a girl for second..then when I got pregnant with #2, I also had a feeling that it was going to be a girl…right before I walked into get the ultrasound room..I had a feeling it’s a ‘girl’ then the technician confirmed me…is this what you would call mom’s intuition? She is almost 2 now and I am done with having babies.

  5. Elroy says:

    My normally very intuitive wife was certain she was having a girl right up until the sonogram proved otherwise. I am so accustomed to relying on her intuition, in fact, that I was honestly shocked that she had been wrong.

    According to TFA, the cited study wasn’t published, so it may well be fraught with flaws. Also, the rate of correct guesses among the 48 who claimed no gender preference (small, self-selected sample) was was 71%, not 78%. This means 34 of 48 women made a correct 50/50 guess. That only slightly more than might normally be accounted for by chance alone (if you flip a coin 48 times, you don’t always get 24 heads and 24 tails). Other problems with the study could easily reduce confidence enough to make up the difference.

  6. Tina says:

    I had a dream early in my pregnancy that I was nursing a boy, and from then on I just knew it was going to be a he. And so did all the old wives in my family. My son is 19mo now and SUCH a little boy.

  7. Katherine says:

    Here’s my take-away: There were 108 women in the study. 66 of them (61%) had either no intuition or were wrong. Buuut, if you eliminate everyone except those who could care less whether they are intuiting correctly, THEN, maybe, intuition has some validity, sometimes.

    Then again, some women here say they called their coin tosses, so….

  8. TC says:

    I had dreams of both my son and my daughter (correctly). With my son, I could see what he looked like (now) as a boy. He’s 4 and very accurate with how I “remember” him. My daughter (fortunately) didn’t have a goatee when she was born (but she sure resembles a feminine version of her dad). I just knew.

    Mother’s intuition…I’m a believer!

  9. Eric says:

    If coin tosses happened only a couple times in your life, and were as important to people as kids are, we’d be reading about ‘coin toss intuition.’

  10. Meghan says:

    I knew from the beginning I was having a girl. But I also knew something was strange about this pregnancy even though it was my first. At the first ultrasound we found out what was so strange about it. I was having a girl AND a boy!

  11. Kayt says:

    I knew from the beginning my son was a boy. I didn’t realise it, but I constantly referred to him as ‘he’ and ‘him’, even before the ultrasound confirmed it. My mother and mother-in-law both had dreams he was a boy. My dad, however, was so unconvinced. He kept telling me, “You WANT it to be a boy, you don’t KNOW it’s a boy.” I kept telling him, “Well, I’d like a boy first, sure, because I know he’s a boy.” Drove him nuts right up to the moment at our 19 week ultrasound where they confirmed he was a boy.

    OTOH, my SIL was convinced for almost her whole pregnancy that she was having a girl. Even her 20 week ultrasound showing a boy didn’t convince her. She had an amnio later in her pregnancy, and when the DNA came back male, she finally conceded she was wrong.

  12. Rachel Shadoan says:

    While my mother was pregnant with me, she was sure she was having a girl. My grandmother, of course, was unconvinced, because my mother already had one girl child. (In my grandmother’s world, that’s how things work. You have two children, one girl and one boy. So naturally, since there was already a girl, I was going to be a boy.) To my grandmother’s dismay, my mother was right. Girl all the way! In the first picture of me, I am in a little blue t-shirt with my hand covering the lettering which proudly proclaims, “It’s a boy!”

  13. Lucky says:

    Haha. The way I could tell was by naming them. We chose the names before the ultrasound and only ever settled on one. Very masculine for our son and very whimsical for our daughter. I just “knew” the name was right, and therefore, the sex. :D

  14. pregoooo :). says:

    im 17 weeks now and when i first found out i was 8 ..and since then me and my boyfriend and our families, just have a feeling its a baby girl. also the heart beat myth ..my babies is 155 bpm. do you guys think i should believe my instinct??

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