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To Know or Not – Whether to Discover the Gender of Your New Baby?

Pink? Blue? Green?

Nearly every expecting mother has an ultrasound at some point during her pregnancy, usually around the 20 week mark. If you’re far enough along in your pregnancy to show, people are going to ask what you’re having. Even without an ultrasound, there are any number of old wives tales that try to predict whether you’re having a boy or girl, from how high or low you’re carrying the baby, to pregnancy symptoms you may be experiencing.

Some parents-to-be want to find out as soon as possible, while others want to wait until the baby is born. Here are some reasons given for both sides.

Reasons to find out

  • You only have to come up with one name.
  • Knowing can help you visualize your baby and feel more connected.
  • In the same vein, you can talk to your baby and call him or her by name instead of just ‘baby’.
  • If you already have children, it helps with planning and budgeting. Hand me downs can save a ton of money, but you may not want to dress a baby girl in her older brother’s baby clothes, or vice versa.
  • It can help older siblings bond with the baby.
  • It makes buying clothes and other items easier, especially for family and friends.
  • Family and friends with babies of the same gender will save their baby items for you.
  • It gives you something to tell family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers who ask (and they all will).
  • If you or your partner have your heart set on a boy or girl, it gives you a chance to deal with possible disappointment and come to terms with your baby. It’s okay to be disappointed, but you may not want disappointment to take away from the excitement of the birth.
  • You’re impatient. You’ve probably known you’re carrying a child for a few months and the suspense is killing you.

Reasons to wait

  • No prediction method is 100% accurate. We’ve all heard the stories of the mom who knew she was having a boy because the ultrasound (maybe even multiple ultrasounds) said it was a boy, only to have to dress her little girl in blue because the ultrasound was wrong. It happens both ways.
  • You savor suspense and find it exciting.
  • You enjoy keeping others in suspense and annoying your family and friends.
  • It brings out the fortune-teller in everyone. It can be fun and entertaining to see what people think and how they come to their conclusions.
  • No one really cares a whole lot. Sure, everyone asks, and some may even think you’re a little crazy for not finding out, but for the most part they’re just being polite.
  • You may find yourself paying more attention to your dreams for clues from your subconscious.
  • Maybe you like the color green much more than pink or blue.

You can delay gender-specific marketing and stereotyping. We live in an age where it is increasingly acceptable for a girl to play football or a boy to play house. If your child wants to be a girly-girl or all boy, that’s fine, but there’s no reason to stick them into a box before they’re even born.

So what do you do if you and your partner can’t agree? One solution is to find out and not tell, but can you really keep something like that from your partner? Or he from you? For the entire rest of your pregnancy? I can just about guarantee there will be an eventual slip.

Do you (or did you) know whether your baby was a boy or girl before the birth? If not, how did you handle the questions? Do you have any reasons to add to either side?


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