# Can you determine the gender of a baby by the shape of the mother's belly?

This is a very common saying that people make about soon-to-be mothers. But is it really true? Can you tell what the gender of a baby will be based on how the mother's belly is shaped?

Article that explains the belly test.

Like any unscientific gender test, it's accurate about half the time

50% isn't much, you might as well flip a coin.

Many things factor into the shape and size of the belly during pregnancy, though gender does not make the list as far as medical science is concerned.

So even your source admits that this is not based on scientific fact. I haven't found any papers actually analyzing this "test", which isn't really surprising, but the BBC has an article explaining why it will not work:

Two variables determine the nature of a pregnant woman’s bump. The first is the size of the baby. It is true that on average baby boys weigh more at birth than baby girls, and so this could make the bump for a boy slightly bigger. But this small difference in weight does not change the shape of the bump.

The second is the position of the foetus in the womb. If it has its back alongside the mother’s front this makes her belly stick right out. If the baby’s back is parallel with the mother’s back the result is that the abdomen looks flatter. And as the position the developing baby adopts is not dependent on its sex, it is a myth that the shape indicates whether it is a boy or a girl. source

"How you carry simply has to do with the tone of your muscles and the position that the baby is in," Beard says. These factors, along with your body shape and how much weight you gain during pregnancy -- not the baby's gender -- will determine how low or high your belly sits. source

• "50% isn't much, you might as well flip a coin" - Or have a child, as it were. Aug 1, 2016 at 18:51
• I have a really successful new method of determining the gender of a baby. It always returns female and is accurate ~50% of the time.
– orlp
Aug 1, 2016 at 21:20
• And since "~" means "approximately", both those comments are irrelevant. Aug 2, 2016 at 1:08
• @EMBLEM, ultrasound wasn't even right about how many of me there were until the later tries. I know it's gotten better over the years, but I'd be wary about claiming "100% accuracy".
– Mark
Aug 2, 2016 at 3:19
• @orlp : Actually, there was a very successful Gypsy fortune-teller woman active some time ago in my area who could predict the gender in the first month of pregnancy very successfully out of Tarot cards or whatever. Her method: saying one thing and writing the opposite into her big book. If she guessed correctly, the parents were satisfied, otherwise if the parents came back to complain, she took her big book, looked up the date and names in front of the parents, at showed them the "correct" entry, claiming that the parents remembered it incorrectly.
– vsz
Aug 2, 2016 at 6:20