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Boy or girl? Jenna Bush Hager tries old wives' tales to predict baby's gender

April 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM ET

Is she carrying the baby high or low? Was her pregnancy plagued by morning sickness or nausea-free? Do her food cravings run sweet or salty?

Can these superstitions really tell if a woman is carrying a boy or a girl?

Short answer: No. But at least they all have a 50 percent chance of being accurate. TODAY decided to test some of the old wives’ tales on correspondent Jenna Bush Hager. Hager, 31, and husband Henry Hager are expecting their first child this spring, and they haven't found out the gender.

First, TODAY's anchors tried predicting the gender.

“I feel like you're having a boy,” Natalie Morales, a mom of two boys, said on TODAY Thursday. “You're carrying a lot like I carried both of mine. And that is you're really high and you're all belly.”

Al Roker said he didn’t base his prediction on anything but guessed it’s a girl, and Savannah Guthrie agreed. At first. “It's probably a girl,” Guthrie said. “Unless it's a boy.”

In an unscientific quest to find out whether Hager should expect a boy or a girl, Morales started with a psychic reading.

“I also feel like she's going to have more than one child,” said Donna, the psychic, after drawing a card showing that Hager indeed has a baby on the way (the obvious baby bump may also have clued her in). “She's not just going to have a boy. There is going to be a girl.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Hager. “Not just going to have a boy. So you think it's a boy?

“I'm feeling something yeah, but I'm definitely feeling like you're going to have a boy and a girl,” Donna said. (For the record, Jenna, a twin herself, knows this pregnancy is definitely a singleton.)

After that inconclusive start, the ladies were off to a crystal healer.

“If the pendulum swings in a circle, that means she's going to have a girl,” said Nicole, the crystal expert. “And if the pendulum swings back and forth, it means that she's going to have a boy.”

With the pendulum appearing to swing back and forth, the consensus was that it’s a boy.

They made one final stop, for a clairvoyant reading in which Hager’s wedding ring was analyzed.

“I'm seeing that it's a boy,” the clairvoyant said. “It's tucked in, with, like, all these pink blankets.” (Why do pink blankets mean it's a boy? Hey, no one claimed this was a logical process.)

With that, Morales declared victory. Still, they turned to an expert to splash a little truth on the gender prediction myths.

Hager started off with an old favorite: “If you’re having a boy, you’re carrying low.”

“False,” said Dr. Ching-Lynn Chen, a New York obstetrician and contributor to TheBump.com.

Also false, said Chen, is that a woman who carries out front is having a boy.

“If your nose is spreading, you're having a girl,” Hager said. “Is that right?”

“I have heard that, but it is also not true,” Chen said.

There was one question that did get a positive response.

“So there's really no way I can find out what this baby is except for an ultrasound?” Hager asked.

“That is true,” Chen answered.

Medical testing can give you a definitive answer as to whether you’re carrying a George or a Grace. But if, like Jenna and Henry, you want to keep the baby's gender a surprise, there are plenty of fun tests and superstitions for speculating about your baby’s gender:

  • The Chinese gender chart: according to legend, this calendar calculation predicts gender based on mom's birthday and the date of conception.
  • If that’s not your thing, pick up a key. If you grab the thin end, it’s a girl, while the thick, rounder end means a boy.
  • Look down. A larger left breast foretells a girl; a bigger right one, a boy.
  • Sleeping on your left side means a boy; right side, a girl.
  • Dry hands mean a boy; soft ones, a girl.
  • Bad morning sickness? Blame it on your girl baby.
  • If you’re feeling really moody, you’re having a girl. (Or, you know, you're pregnant, period.)
  • Girls "steal your beauty," so if you've got mad pregnancy acne, that means it's a girl.
  • If you’re feeling graceful, that’s also a sign of a girl, and being clumsy (who isn’t during pregnancy?) means you’re carrying a boy.
  • Citrus or sweet cravings mean girl, while wanting salty snacks means it’s a boy.
  • Leg hair growing faster than it did before pregnancy? Boy.
  • If dad-to-be is gaining weight along with mom during the pregnancy, it's a boy (Note: some sources say the opposite, that chunkier dad means girl. Well, one of those is bound to be right.)
  • If your pee is bright yellow, it's a boy; dull yellow means a girl.
  • If you refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread, it's a girl, while if you go straight for the bread heel it's a boy.

Did any of these prediction methods work for you? Tell us about it on Facebook!

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