The Good and Bad Side to Keeping Baby’s Gender a Surpriseby Sarah Hurst
Congratulations! You’re expecting a baby! You’ll have had your first scan at 12 weeks – too early to tell the baby’s gender via scan at this stage – and perhaps you’re wondering whether to ask the sonographer to check the sex of your baby at your 20-week scan, or you’re more inclined to keep it a surprise?
The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer and whether you attempt to find out your baby’s gender or not is purely down to personal preference. Of course, both parents really need to be on the same page because one of you knowing and keeping this a secret from your other half could prove tricky!
Having said that, there are some pros and some cons of keeping the gender of your baby a surprise before the birth…let’s have a look at some of them…
Pros of keeping your baby’s gender a surprise:
- You have something to ‘keep you going’ during labour – labour can be long and arduous, quick and painful, scary, euphoric and every feeling in between. There may be moments where you feel that you cannot go on, and having your baby’s gender reveal to look forward to at the end of the birthing process can really help.
- Not having to deal with stereotypical gifts of newborn toys and clothing from well-meaning family and friends ready for your baby’s birth – pink frilly, or bright blue ‘going home outfit’ no thank you!
- One of the few ‘true’ surprises in life – in a world where we can have most information at our fingertips, there is something magical about growing a baby and not knowing until they are Earth side whether they are a boy or a girl.
- Not being swayed by gender stereotypes before you’ve actually met your baby…for example, throwing away all any ‘boy’ clothes you’d kept from previous children only to find out that you have a dress hating girl who loves more stereotypical ‘boy’ clothes.
- There’s no ‘getting it wrong’ in the scan, planning for a boy/girl and then being met with a different sex at the birth.
Cons of keeping your baby’s gender a surprise:
- Not being able to ‘plan’ as much in advance when sorting clothes, accessories or decorating.
- Not being able to prepare your other children for a new sibling who isn’t the sex they were hoping for
- Having to decide on both boys and girls’ names
- Some parents may find it harder to ‘bond’ with their baby in utero without being able to imagine whether they are a future son or daughter
- Fielding judgements as to what sex your ‘bump’ is based purely on looks, size, shape or weight gain….(eg, being told it must be a girl because they ‘steal your beauty’… yes thanks for that! )
Obviously, sometimes it just isn’t possible to tell what sex your baby is during the scan – they may be in the wrong position, too wriggly or the scan just isn’t a clear enough view to be sure. Whatever happens, the most important thing is that your baby is safe and healthy, regardless of whether they are born a boy or a girl.