10 Pregnancy Superstitions That Are Old Wives' Tales

"Carry" On
People like to guess how big the mother's belly is -- and what sex the shape foretells. But they are often wrong. Purestock/Thinkstock

Whether you have a big bulbous belly or an itsy-bitsy pooch, someone is bound to offer their interpretation about how you are "carrying" as it relates to gender. This innocuous belief dates back to old English folklore [source: McCoy]. However, the details are fuzzy and often contradictory. For example, some women will swear up and down that girls are carried high and boys low, with many others claiming just the opposite. The same inconsistency goes for whether you carry in one big bump like a basketball, or evenly all around.

Curious researchers put 104 pregnant women to the test and asked them to guess their child's gender based on these and other beliefs, with the result being that women are not "good predictors" of their baby's sex. The researchers also found that the "fetal sex was not systematically related to the shape of the women's abdomen" [source: Perry et al]. 50/50 odds are still pretty good, though, so guess away!