Carrying Low, the Nose Spread & A New Blood Test: How To Tell If You’re Having A Boy Or A Girl

There’s no shame to my game: the second my OB-GYN confirmed my positive at-home pregnancy test was telling the truth, I was all, “So um, is it a boy or a girl?” She burst out laughing, but I was dead serious. I wanted to know. Pronto. I had baby clothes to buy. And colors to pick for the room. And, by God, names to sort through. Who had time to wait around for an ultrasound five months later?

That I had to wait until my five-month ultrasound to find out my baby’s gender was some bull. And torture for a chick who doesn’t really care for surprises. So you know I went nuts with the old wives tale gender predictors: “Oh, I’m carrying low it’s going to be a boy!” and, “Wait, the heartbeat was fast, so it must be a girl!” and “I can’t keep a thing down I must be having a girl, right? Right?!”

Thank God I didn’t have this list of “just for fun” ways to guess the gender of my baby. I promise you, I would have tried every last thing on this list. And driven myself crazy, for sure.

Of course, 12 years after I waited five months with baited breath to find out the sex of my first-bon, now comes news from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that there’s a new blood test out that can determine gender as early as seven weeks into pregnancy. Apparently, the test measures cell-free fetal DNA, predicting with 94.8 percent accuracy if you’re going to have a boy and 98.9 percent accuracy if you’ll be loading up on pink clothes. Though accuracy improves if you hold off on the test until you have a few more weeks under your belt after 20 weeks, gender prediction is near perfect. But you can’t beat finding out the baby’s sex just two months in.

The test, which can run as high as about $400, comes with its issues: In this article, some worry that parents will use the test to select the sex of their children or abort babies with potential health problems. It’s a valid concern, I guess, though I still stand firmly on the right for women to plan their parenthood as they see fit, even if it doesn’t jibe with what I would do behind my closed doors. And while this may be an issue in places like China and India, where population rules lead parents to take drastic measures to have sons, I’m thinking this isn’t really a huge deal here in the U.S.

Besides, some of us just want to skip the amniocentesis (which carries a small chance of causing miscarriage) and get the info before the 5-month sonogram you know, because we got crib bumpers and baby clothes to buy. Simple as that.

Did you want to know or find out the gender of your baby before giving birth? What crazy old wives tales did you use to try to figure it out?

Photo credit: Sarahemcc for Flickr/Creative Commons

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. I LOVE being surprised by everything… but I think I’m with you on this one. I’d want to know beforehand if it was a boy or a girl.

  2. I so badly wanted to find out the sex of the baby. We were hoping for a boy since we already had 2 girls. All the gender tests pointed me to “boy” and I believed it. Well, no third leg here…totally having another girl this time. One test I did was with a thread and needle held over my belly or wrist which supposedly determines the sex by the sway of the needle at the end.

    • Denene@MyBrownBaby

      Oooh—I heard the thread and needle one, too. I think I might have tried that one! LOL! Congrats on girl number three! Girls ROCK!

  3. Okay?!! You are so right. I’m 9 months preggers with my beautiful baby girl now but I was too through when I found out that I had to wait to 20 weeks to find out. I’m a planner, what can I say?

    But what is REALLY crazy is…I’m also a skeptic. So while I HAD to know…most of her baby clothes are still yellow and green and tan (except for a few cute must-haves). Even her room is yellow. Because there would be one ticked off sista at the hospital if, after I’ve bought a bunch of pink frilly dress, they pull her out and say, “Oops, my bad. It’s a boy.” LOL!!

    • Denene@MyBrownBaby

      LOL!!! Tracey, you are TOO funny! Baby? My doctor barely got the “g” out of girl before I was hopping up and headed for the boutiques for the cute dresses. I guess I would have been jacked if my girls ended up boys, huh? But I saw what was between their legs with my own eyes and RAN with it! Ha!

  4. Ummm. As much as I loved this article – I was completely captivated by the shoes in the picture. Where could I purchase these cute shoes?? I’m in the process of purchasing items for my twins

    • Denene@MyBrownBaby


      I’m not sure where the shoes came from. I got the photo from Flick Creative Commons. But if you click onto the photographer’s page (the link is at the bottom of the post), you can ask her directly. They are cutie, aren’t they?! Congrats on the twins!

  5. Love this post! I was the exact same way. I needed to know ASAP mostly so the shopping could commence. I’d love to be one of those moms who wants a surprise so maybe the 2nd go round I’ll try to wait as long as I can but won’t make any promises.

  6. when i mentioned to my mom I was pregnanat in my 6weeks, she had the nerve to ask me was I in a standing up position or laying down upon conceiving. Lying down… yeah your having a boy. When I was in my 6 month of pregnancy I wanted to know (damn it i got a boy)! All she said was I told ya and had brought all these boy items before she even saw the ultrasound.

  7. P.S. It was one of those down south crazy old wives tales…..gotta love the south!

  8. I relied on intuition. I just *knew* what I was having both times. I also dreamed about the baby’s sex beforehand.

  9. I was dying to know what I was having I kept playing games that said they would tell you if you were having a boy or girl.

  10. My husband insisted on us not knowing, but I just KNEW I was having a girl. I kept looking for the sideways hamburger buns between the legs. and once I saw what I thouught I was looking for, I waas 95% convinced that i was right. Luckily I was, but it was so frustrating not being able to get the baby accessories in the colors I wanted, so my daughter spent a lot of time in gender neutral out fits and colors. She making up for it now because everything she wants is either pink or purple and covered with glitter and frills.

  11. Yes, I wanted to know ASAP, but I saw my baby on the sonogram at 8 weeks and told my husband that it was a boy. I never faltered. They confirmed it at 21 weeks.

  12. My husband and I do not want to know. It’ll be such an amazing surprise! I don’t go in for girls in pink and boys in blue all the time so getting neutral clothing is great!
    And it’s fun listening to everyone making their predictions 😉

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