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What Is the Ring Gender Test?

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When I was pregnant with my first child, a good friend was absolutely certain that I was expecting a boy. Even though I chose not to find out my baby’s gender at my 20-week-ultrasound, I decided to appease her by letting her perform a well-known old wives tale on me: the ring test.

What is the Ring Gender Test?

It’s a fun, unscientific way to predict your baby’s gender. The way in which a ring dangled over your pregnant belly moves is said to reveal whether you’re having a boy or a girl.

How is it done?

You’ll need a ring (traditionally a wedding ring, but you can also use another special ring) and a small piece of string. Thread the string through the ring and lay down on your back — you won’t be in this position for long, so no need to worry about the vena cava issue. Now, have your partner or a friend dangle the threaded ring over your belly. Don’t force the ring in any one direction (advice I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t follow).

How do you read the results of the ring test?

According to the legend, if the ring swings back and forth (like a metronome) you’re having a boy. If it moves around in more of a circular or oval motion, you’re pregnant with a girl.

Does it really work?

This test is meant to be fun, and it’s not scientific, so the results won’t necessarily be accurate. “They’re called tales for a reason — they’re not facts,” says Steve Crawford, author of Old Wives Tales for New Mothers. “It’s folklore and superstition tied together with one common experience.”

For me, the ring-on-a-string swung up and down which would mean boy, and yet a few months later I gave birth to a baby girl, so I’m obviously a skeptic. But, like I said, my friend had already made up her mind that I was carrying a boy. My advice? Look for an impartial string holder.

More for Pregnant Moms:

30 Epic Gender Reveal Ideas
7 Pregnancy Old Wives Tales That Were True for Me
31 Creative Ways to Tell Your Husband You’re Pregnant

Photo: Getty