For some, finding out the sex* of their baby is one of the most exciting moments of pregnancy. With the availability of blood tests and high-tech ultrasound imagining, people are able to find out if they're carrying a boy or girl much earlier in pregnancy, though some still wait until the standard 20 week ultrasound. Some families couldn't imagine not finding out about baby's sex, some are adamant about keeping it a secret until birth, and others are on the fence. Like most choices in life, there are pros and cons to knowing and not knowing. Let's take a look.
*A note about using the word "sex" vs. "gender" -- sex refers to a person's genital anatomy and the biological aspects of identity; gender refers to the psychological, behavioral, social, cultural aspects/behaviors of identity. While sex can be determined before birth, a person's gender is not typically chosen until childhood, adolescence, or beyond.
Should You Find Our Your Baby's Sex?
- Your curiosity will be satisfied, no patience necessary
- Your family will no longer pester you to find out
- You can deck out your child's wardrobe according to traditional styles for boys or girls
- You can settle on one name and personalize the nursery accordingly
- You may build a stronger sense of "knowing" the child you're carrying
- You can throw a fun "pink or blue" party during your pregnancy
- If you were really hoping for a particular sex (no judgement here!), you will have time to adjust and bond to the child you're carrying if the sex is different
- There's always a possibility that the test is wrong
- Too much emphasis is put on the importance of the child's sex and gender role
- People will buy you way too many gender-specific baby clothes
- You remove the surprise element of finding out at birth
- It's a fantastic surprise for you and everyone else!
- No obsessing or assumptions about who baby will be based on their sex or gender role
- The fun of choosing two (or more) different names
- You have a blank slate for decorating your nursery
- Or, you can put off decorating your nursery until after birth
- No possibility of wrong ultrasound surprise at birth
- No stereotypical gender-based clothes
- Less possibility for disappointment when finding out at birth, if you were hoping for a specific sex
- Your family, other children, or even strangers may express disappointment, which can be hard to handle
- You may enjoy driving everyone nuts about the surprise
- The not knowing may drive you bonkers
- Family and friends won't leave you alone about finding out
- Your baby's first few weeks' wardrobe will be fairly monotone
- Not being able to personalize the nursery may bug you
- You may feel like you're missing out on something
- You may feel like you don't "know" or bond less with baby before birth (not always true, of course)