Here's What It Really Means When You're Carrying High During Pregnancy

As soon as someone announces their pregnancy, the guessing game begins — will it be a boy? Will it be a girl?

During pregnancy, Americans believe that if you are carrying high, you are having a boy, and if you are carrying low, you are having a girl (via HuffPost). In Australia, their folk tales say that if a woman is carrying high, she is having a girl, and if she is carrying low, she is having a boy (via HowStuffWorks). We have all heard these old wives' tales for ages, so which one is true? The fact that the bump can reveal the gender of the baby is nothing but myths, and how an expecting mother carries the baby can tell you more about the mother than the baby. So what does the bump tell us?

There is no scientific proof that the way a woman carries her baby indicates anything about gender, yet we continue to play the guessing game of how we can predict the gender based on the mom's mood, how the bump looks, what she eats, and more. 

Carrying high during pregnancy can indicate the mom's fitness level

Like a number of different elements, your fitness level can impact where you're carrying during pregnancy. If you are a very fit person and have well-defined abdominal muscles, you will likely not show until later in your pregnancy, according to WebMD. Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, director of perinatal services at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York City, told The Bump, "The manner in which a woman carries has everything to do with the tone of her abdominal musculature."

In the case of Instagram model Sarah Stage, she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she had a barely-there bump that she carried a bit higher, as per The Bump. Fit moms may seem like they are carrying their baby higher because tight abs hold the baby more in the body and offer it more support. Also, according to John Thoppil, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN at Texas A&M University College of Medicine, carrying high means you have a good muscle tone, as noted by Romper.

Carrying high can also indicate first pregnancy

Carrying higher during pregnancy also can mean the first pregnancy, according to WebMD. If this is not your first pregnancy, your body will carry the baby lower because the muscles and ligaments in your abdominal area and uterus have stretched and become looser before.

John Thoppil, M.D., also explained, "When a woman carries high, her abdominal muscles are often in good shape, while lax muscles from age, previous pregnancies or decreased fitness can cause her to carry low," as noted by Romper. Carrying low can mean you are less active or have been pregnant before, as added by OB/GYN Kirtly Parker Jones, because the abdominal walls may have stretched out more, so the mothers carry their babies lower.

Professor Steve Robson, the Vice President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists', told The Huffington Post Australia, "It's clear to say that a child's genitals has nothing to do with how the woman's body looks when she is pregnant. The way a woman carries a baby has more to do with the size of the baby — then the belly tends to pivot forward."

So, how a woman carries her bump has nothing to do with the gender of the baby, but the fitness level of the mom and whether or not she has had a baby before can impact whether or not she carries high.