sexing an unborn child

< Previous | Next >

Chaska Ñawi

Senior Member
Canadian English
We were chatting in the staff room today about a friend's new baby boy, and started a vigorous debate about whether boys are carried lower than girls. One camp said that it was a valid indicator; the others maintained that it's impossible to determine the sex of a baby without sophisticated technology.

Certainly the belief that boys are carried lower than girls is common here. My grandmother and her contemporaries also believed firmly that mothers expecting a boy craved acidic foods more than the mothers of girls.

This is just my little corner of rural Ontario, but I'd be curious to know whether there are any firmly ingrained beliefs where you live about sexing unborn children.

Or does everybody just get an ultrasound these days? :)
  • Cabeza tuna

    Senior Member
    Chilean Spanish & Chilean Coa
    Here everyone except a really few ones, get and ultrasound examen to know the sex of the baby, even some hospital have 3D ultrasound that are just amazing.


    Senior Member
    Caracas - Venezuela
    Incluso aquí en Venezuela para adivinar el sexo del bebé hacen juegos como colocar debajo del asiento de una silla una cuchara (identifica a las hembras) y en otra un chuchillo (identifica a los varones), donde se siente la madre (ella no sabe en que silla se encuentra la cuchara o el cuchillo) ese será el sexo del niño. También lo deducen por la forma de la barriga de la madre si esta muy redondita es hembra y si es más alargada varón. Si la madre se encuentra muy rozagante, muy bonita es varón, si esta medio feita, pálida, ojerosa es hembra.

    Cuando la barriga esta muy bajita, ya estas a punto de parir dicen las de mucha experiencia.

    Ahora eso de los fumadores nunca lo había escuchado.

    Last edited by a moderator:

    Cabeza tuna

    Senior Member
    Chilean Spanish & Chilean Coa
    Y se me olvidó otro de norte America: se deja colgar un anillo de oro encima de la barriga. Si se gira, es varón; se se oscilia, es una mujercita. (o viceversa :p )

    Eso lo he escuchado de la gente de campo pero cada vez casi como chiste.
    Aquí cuando no se sabe el sexo compran ropa y cosas amarillas que van para ambos.


    Senior Member
    Caracas - Venezuela
    Y se me olvidó otro de norte America: se deja colgar un anillo de oro encima de la barriga. Si se gira, es varón; se se oscilia, es una mujercita. (o viceversa :p )
    Aquí se consulta el péndulo, tanto para decirte que sexo será el bebé, como también cuántos hijos vas a tener en toda tu vida.



    En México.

    1.- Niño. La panza de la mamá es más baja, pero es prominente hacia el frente.
    2.- Niña. La panza de la mamá es más alta, pero en vez de apiuntar hacia el frente se distribuye hacia los lados, y asemeja más gordura que embarazo.

    Conclusion: mothers-to-be of baby boys are fatter.

    De acuerdo con Betzabé. Muchas veces es casi imposible saber el sexo de la criatura antes de que nazca.


    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    We have lots! The most common one has to do with the shape of the belly. Round means girl, "pointed" means boy. The lower/higher thing is also considered a factor (I don't know if one happens to have a round belly but it's of the "lower variety").
    Another one I've heard of is that if the face of the mother becomes "sweeter" it's a boy and if it becomes "uglier" it's a girl (supposedly the girl "takes" some of the mother's beauty. This last one I've heard the other way around too though (boy makes your face "rougher").
    Then there's a trick you can do to see if you have a boy or a girl: You take your wedding ring or, in one variation, a cross, you hang it from a thread and place it over the middle of your left palm. If the item starts moving in a circular pattern it's a girl. If it moves in a straight line it's a boy.
    Yet another way to determine the sex of the baby is to put a pair of scisors under one pillow and a knife under the other. You then ask the pregnant woman (who, of course, doesn't know which is under which pillow) to sit to one of them. If she chooses the scissors it's a girl, if the knife a boy.
    There are many others apparently but, since I don't know how popular they are (found mention of them by searching the internet), I won't include them here.
    Apparently a "new" one (for Greece at least) I will mention make use of technology. I don't know if it is really a Chinese tradition or not, but apparently there are sites such as this one where, by inputing some information about the age of the expecting mother and the date of conception, you can predict the sex of the baby.

    Despite all this most women nowadays ignore all such beliefs and just trust the ultrasounds. That doesn't mean they don't get buried under a mountain of predictions :D


    Senior Member
    Peruvian Spanish.
    We have lots! The most common one has to do with the shape of the belly. Round means girl, "pointed" means boy.
    Same here!!!!! My mom's friend used to correctly guess the sex of an unborn baby just by looking at a woman's belly and, according to my mom, she was never wrong!

    Getting an ultrasound is, of course, the best way to figure it out.


    Senior Member
    When I was pregnant, I was told it would be a boy because I was carrying it all in front. I didn't look pregnant from behind. I was told girls were carried more cross-wise. I did have a son. His wife is now pregnant and she just had her second ultrasound - the baby spent the appointment kicking at the ultrasound wand, and then when they finally got it to turn around, it crossed its legs! The doctor THINKS she saw indications it was a boy, but they're not sure even now!


    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In Austria there's also plenty of "stuff" to determine what sex an unborn child has; but honestly, me being a man for once and then also one who is quite sceptical (mildly put :D) about such practices I only remember a very few.

    Like, the pendulum, swung over the hand of a pregnant woman: if the pendulum circles or rather moves forward and back without describing a circle should say wether it is a boy or a girl (I only don't remember which one's the girl :)).
    [Edit: I haven't read those other posts on purpose so as not to influence my posting; obviously Ireney knows the same tradition, and as it is circle = girl for her I think it should be the same in Austria. :)]

    Or also when a pregnant woman is very heavy, has gained much weight, some say it will be a boy.

    Or another one, when a baby is very lively and kicks around in the stomach - that also should be distinctive, they say (again, I can't remember if a kicking one is supposed to be a boy or a girl).

    And some more which I've forgotten.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    Nice anecdote. My mother-in-law was quite sure she could determine the gender of a baby by simply checking the moon position at the time of the birth of his/her previous brother/sister (obviously this method is valid starting from the second child, of course).

    I'm more than sceptical so I decided to scientifically check the method and downloaded a PC program to calculate the position of the moon for any date and any place on earth. Then I started to interview people about their birth date and the birth date of their brothers.

    You won't believe but the results were impressive; 90% of right prediction!

    I still don't believe that method but I was not able to contradict my beloved mother-in-law!!!


    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    Similar belly-shape-reading and ring-dangling techniques are used in Ireland and Spain, although the meaning of certain results seem to differ from person to person.

    In Ireland, hardly anybody finds out the sex of their child by ultra-sound. It is very unusual to do so, and even those who do rarely tell anyone. I [a male] have a female friend who has told me what she is having, and has not even told her husband yet...

    In Spain on the other hand, hardly anybody does not find out. Doctors typically do not even ask you do you want to know... they just automatically tell you as soon as the information is clear. Being Irish with a Spanish wife, I ended up knowing even though culturally I probably would have liked to get the surprise...


    Senior Member
    Français, French - France

    Ici (France) certaines personnes prétendent aussi que la forme du ventre indique le sexe du bébé : pointu = garçon, rond = fille...
    (on peut aussi entendre le coup de porter haut/bas...)

    Víctor Pérez

    Senior Member
    Español peninsular - Français
    Pues a mí me encantaba oír las pugnas de las consuegras cuando, con tanta determinación, lanzaban aquellos vaticinios inapelables:
    - Acuérdate de lo que te digo: va a ser niño, solo hay que ver lo redonda que tiene la barriga, sentenciaba una.
    La otra consuegra, cómo no, nunca estaba de acuerdo:
    - Que no, que no, está claro que va a ser niña, ¡mira qué alta la tiene!, dictaminaba.

    Claro que, poco tiempo después, una vez nacido el crío, ya nadie se acordaba de quién predijo el qué ni el cuando ni el cómo:
    - No, si ya lo dije yo, que iba a ser niña...
    - No, perdona, la que dijo que iba a ser niña fui yo, que quede claro...

    Luego llegó la flamante e incuestionable ecografía, acallando para siempre cualquier intento de predicción:
    - Que no te canses, mamá, que gracias a la ecografía ya sabemos que es niño.
    - Pues va a ser niña, murmuraba la abuela por lo bajines, renegando de los artilugios infernales...

    Por otro lado, cuando ves a tu hija o hijo en la pantalla del monitor del ecógrafo, una vez que te has repuesto de ese emocionante primer contacto interdimensional con ella o él, no puedes dejar de pensar que, en verdad, el resultado es más bien sorprendentemente decepcionante porque lo que has visto, envuelto en un acelerado e inquietante "¡bumbún! ¡bumbún! ¡bumbún!", no es más que una forma gris difuminada, imprecisa, arcaica y torpe, que te aseguran que es tu bebé...
    Sin contar que, cuando tu futuro hijo es niña, el médico te dice: bueno, solo podemos asegurar que es niño cuando es niño. Cuando es niña cabe la posibilidad de que sea niño...

    No, definitivamente, hasta que no inventen una imagen intrauterina más de acorde a la realidad, seguiré prefiriendo las predicciones equivocadas de las abuelas... :D
    Last edited:

    Valeria Mesalina

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Spain
    Y se me olvidó otro de norte America: se deja colgar un anillo de oro encima de la barriga. Si se gira, es varón; se se oscilia, es una mujercita. (o viceversa :p )
    This one is, or was, very popular in Spain.

    I don´t remember if the shape of the belly was taken into account to determine the sex; but if the baby is kicking nonstop is taken as proof that it is a boy. Predictions failed miserably in my case, anyway.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Español de Sonora
    If a woman dreams of a cucumber, she will have a boy.
    If a woman dreams of a hen, a girl will be born.
    He dicho!! :D

    En México ¿que les puedo decir? Todo lo que ya han contado se utiliza en pos de descubrir si es niño o niña.
    El péndulo, la forma de la barriga, las tijeras y el cuchillo, si te pones fea, si te pones bonita. Que si te dan o no agruras, que si se te antoja tal cosa y otras no. Absolutamente todo.
    Sin embargo, para más seguridad las futuras mamás acuden al ginecólogo a que les hago el ultrasonido, a veces en 3D (asomborosos) donde la mayoría de las veces sales de dudas.


    Senior Member
    Sin embargo, para más seguridad las futuras mamás acuden al ginecólogo a que les hago el ultrasonido, a veces en 3D (asomborosos) donde la mayoría de las veces sales de dudas.
    No doubt! Moreover, Russian bureaucratic system (I live in Russia) forces women to follow all medical and obstetric requirements to keep serious social (financial, legal, etc.) support for pregnancy and for parents of newborn babies.
    However, I consider all described folk beliefs and omens as a nice game to play during the exciting expectations...


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    An old "high tech" trick that used to be used at baby showers was to put a sewing needle on a thread, and let it hang over the future mother's wrist.
    If it swung in circles, it was a girl, if it swung in lines, a boy.
    I'm sure the person who came up with it was named "Ouija":D


    Senior Member
    We were chatting in the staff room today about a friend's new baby boy, and started a vigorous debate about whether boys are carried lower than girls...
    It is good to read something really culture and folk related. In Hungary older ladies tend to use a lot of stuff to determine the gender of the baby, too.
    But what do you mean by: carried lower? I do not understand it.


    Hungarian - Hungary
    And that will end old superstitions... which is OK (the less stupidity, the better?) but I still can't help feeling that something else (positive) will be lost as well. People interacting, communicating, watching phenomenon they can't know about, etc. And who knows which is better?

    There were ideas about that in Hungary, too. Having heard of some when I was a kid, I don't remember exactly how it went but it was about the position (lower, higher/sideways) and the shape (spherical/pointy) of the future mum's belly.
    < Previous | Next >