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Family Planning Fables & Foibles
Family Planning Fables & Foibles

Planning a family can be an exciting, but also very confusing time for a couple. NARISHA PILLAY takes a look at some of the numerous old wives’ tales and pregnancy folklore that’s been floating around for centuries.

Narisha Pillay

When a woman is trying to conceive or becomes pregnant, she tends to form a closer emotional bond to the female members of her family and it is natural to look to them for suggestions and advice. When the women gather together at kitchen teas or baby showers, it is not surprising that the conversation turns to gender prediction, and the following advice is commonly heard:

Suspend a wedding ring on a chain over your belly. If it swings back and forth, it’s a girl. If it swings around in circles, it’s a boy.

If a toddler boy shows interest in a pregnant woman, the mom-to-be is going to have a girl. If he ignores the pregnant woman, she will have a boy.

A craving for salty foods is a sure sign of a boy, and craving sweets is a sign that a girl is on the way.

If you can’t tell you’re pregnant from the back, you’re having a boy. If you look pregnant all over and from every angle, it’s a girl.

You didn’t suffer from morning sickness in your first trimester, it’s a boy.

Judith Pule, a working mom from

Gauteng says: “When I was pregnant with my son (6), I was told that if you are carrying a boy child your nose becomes bigger during pregnancy and that you become rather unattractive, and when carrying a girl, your skin glows and not much facial change happens. It’s also believed that if your tummy is round, it’s a girl and when it’s pointy, it’s a boy.”


While nothing should replace sound medical advice, it doesn’t hurt to have some fertility folklore fun!

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April 2019