Old Wives’ Tales and Gender Predictions: True or False?

In a time where there were no ultrasounds, how did women find out the gender of their unborn babies? There was no sure way to confirm, but they used the following old wives’ tales passed down the generations to predict gender. Some may sound ludicrous and some sound like fallacies, but many modern-day parents are also trying out these gender predictions too.

Fast forward to today, although we have ultrasounds and chromosome tests which reveal the gender, some of the following old wives’ tales still exist.


Craving sweet foods means you’re pregnant with a girl, or so the old folks say.


  1. It’s a girl if you crave sweet foods and a boy if you crave savoury foods


Apparently, female foetuses make their mothers crave cakes, cookies and chocolate and male foetuses, pizza, pasta and potato chips. I have a boy and a girl but never said no to ice cream or pizza during both pregnancies.


In actual fact, cravings are related to dietary deficiencies such as iron or calcium which the body has to replenish. Cravings are a result of a heightened sense of smell due to increased blood flow to the nose during pregnancy.


  1. Dewy and glowy? It’s a boy. Dull and spotty? It’s a girl.


Another popular saying is that female foetuses draw their beauty from their mothers, resulting in skin breakouts and a complexion worse than before, while male foetuses add glow.


Pregnancy takes a major toll on your body and your hormonal levels go out of sync, causing your skin to break out.


It is said that the gender of your next child will be the gender that your current child resembles.


  1. The gender of your next child will be what your current child resembles


This doesn’t apply to first-time moms. When I found out that I was expecting No. 2, the elderly women in my neighbourhood were adamant that it would be a boy (they were right!) because my elder daughter resembled a boy when she was younger, with short hair and boyish mannerisms.


  1. Sharp and pointy or round and wide?


The shape of your baby bump is used to predict gender as well. It is said that a pointed and sharp baby bump means that it’s a baby boy and that around and wide bump hides a baby girl. This could be coincidental, but it turned out to be true for my case.


  1. The Ring Test


This method apparently lists out the number of children and their gender in order and has lots of women vouching for its reliability. Dangle your wedding ring above your tummy using a strand of hair or a string – if it swings from side to side, it’s a boy. If it swings in a circular motion, it’s a girl.


Which gender will it be? Are others excited to predict your baby’s gender too?


  1. Current child’s hair swirl


This is another one for second or mums with multiple kids. If the swirl at the back of your latest child’s head swirls clockwise, it’s a girl. If it swirls anti-clockwise, it’s a boy. Nothing has said about children who have more than one swirl on their heads…


Take everything above with the pinch of salt as every pregnancy comes with different symptoms and such old wives’ tales cannot replace the accuracy of an ultrasound scan. After all, boy or girl, doesn’t really matter because, at the end of the day, a healthy and happy baby is most important, don’t you think?


Leave us a comment to tell us what you’ve heard about gender predictions!


Parents in Singapore: Have You Heard of These Confinement Myths?

Postpartum confinement is still very much practised in Singapore. Each ethnic group has their own set of rules for the new mother to adhere to, but all have the same aim – to let the mother recuperate and restore her health.


Some confinement practices are rather outlandish and are not suitable to follow in Singapore due to our weather. We’ve debunked some confinement myths for you.


Maintaining hygiene is equally important during confinement.


  • No showering and/or washing hair during confinement

It is believed that women should avoid touching the water as much as possible during their confinement to prevent “wind” from entering the body.

Fact: With Singapore’s hot and humid climate, it is of utmost importance to take regular baths. Not only does this ensure good hygiene which is essential when handling a newborn baby with a weak immune system, it also helps you feel comfortable and relaxed. In addition, regular baths reduce the risk of skin and wound infections.


  • Consume lots of tonic wine, ginger and traditional herbs to expel excess wind

Such ingredients are said to heat up the body and get rid of wind that is trapped in the new mother’s body.


Fact: Everything that we consume should be taken in moderation. Excessive consumption of these ingredients may bring about an adverse effect on the mother and baby. The properties of Traditional Chinese herbs have yet to be studied in detail and in large quantities, may cause more harm than help. If the mother consumes too much alcohol, it may be secreted in breast milk and be passed onto the baby. Hence, it is better to avoid alcohol during confinement.


It is more important to ensure that you consume a nutritionally balanced meal instead.


Water is necessary to relieve the effects of water retention, even for new mums who are in confinement.


  • Do not drink plain water.

Plain water is said to cause water retention. New mothers should only drink red date and longan tea.


Fact: Water retention is not caused by consuming water. In fact, by drinking water, you’re helping your kidneys expel excess fluids left over from pregnancy and childbirth. Red date and longan tea should not be the only source of fluids.


If you are breastfeeding, you should aim for a minimum of 2 litres of fluids in a day.


  • Keep your entire body covered. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Make sure the fan is directed away from your body.

Exposing your body to the elements causes “wind” to enter your body. Keep warm by wearing long sleeves and pants. .


Fact: It is of utmost importance that your body remains well-ventilated. Wearing long sleeves and long pants without air-conditioning may lead to heat rash or in worse cases, heatstroke.


Getting ample rest is important for the new mother to recuperate during confinement.


  • Lie in bed as much as possible

Avoid strenuous physical activities as overexertion may cause uterine prolapse.


Fact: Allow your body to get ample rest but there is no need to stay in bed all day. Keeping yourself active aids in a quicker recovery.


Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak and the uterus slips down the vagina. To prevent uterine prolapse, train your Kegel muscles.


Some confinement traditions are not suitable to be followed, given Singapore’s humid climate. What are other confinement rules and myths that you’ve heard of? Let us know in the comments!