One of the decisions all parents-to-be are expected to make is whether to find out their baby’s gender or not by having a gender ultrasound scan. On one side, some may consider it less traditional because women throughout history did not know what gender their child was going to be, but on the other – the advancement in technology made this information easily accessible, hence we can bond with our children much earlier than we ever could have in the past.
Taking both views into consideration, we thought it helpful to draw a list of pros and cons of gender scanning.
What is a gender scan?
Gender or sexing scan is an ultrasound scan performed in mid-trimester of pregnancy with the primary goal of determining baby’s gender. It is a regular non-invasive ultrasound scan, and is not routinely offered by the NHS.There are numerous reasons for both knowing and not knowing the baby’s gender, and here you can consider some of them.
Gender scan pros
1. Helps choosing a name
It may take some time for parents to decide on baby’s name, especially if they have a strong preference for a name for quite some time. Some parents even come up with a ready-made list of potential names for both boys and girls, as they cannot decide on just one.
Knowing if you are having a boy or a girl may relieve this dilemma as it shortens the long list of potential names by a very helpful 50%.
2. Helps choosing nursery and clothing colour palette
While in early pregnancy, you have still got plenty of time and energy to go out and about, choosing nursery colour palette and picking clothing. But the questions keep rising: should you paint the nursery walls pink, lilac, blue, green, yellow or white? Which clothes would you need, shades of pink or shades of blue?
Knowing your baby’s gender in advance can assist you in deciding what colours and baby fashion items to focus on and save you much hassle and money in the long run.
3. Helps bonding with him or her vs. it
Some future parents find it highly impersonal referring to their baby as “it” and prefer knowing if it is her or him. That way, when they hum a lullaby before bed or introducing some of the life’s joys to the baby, they know better whom they are talking to. While mothers may be planning their future daughter’s wedding day, fathers may visualise shooting free kicks and penalties on a football pitch.
Additionally, if there is already a child in the family, it may be easier explaining to him or her if there is a brother or sister on its way, so the child is more likely to understand it better and get excited about the new arrival.
Hence, one of the reasons to reveal your baby’s gender is to help you form a bond with your baby before it is even born.
4. It prevents surprises
Many people are not fans of surprises of any kind, so knowing their baby’s gender is a good way to decrease the enigma of having a boy or a girl. To some, it is simply reassuring to know what they are expecting, as it prevents surprises and uncertainty.
5. Helps preparation and organisation
Having a baby entails numerous preparations during pregnancy and an advanced level of organisation and management once the baby arrives. Choosing baby furniture, buying toys, clothes and shoes, preparing the house and family for the new family member, to name just a few, are enough to exhaust the unprepared ones. All this is even harder not knowing whether you are welcoming a boy or a girl.
Hence, knowing your baby’s gender is helpful in planning and structuring your new life and practicing your new life role sooner than later.
Gender scan cons
(1) Parents disagree on whether to know or not
One possible problem of revealing your baby’s gender is when you and your partner disagree on whether to know your baby’s gender or not. While a mother may prefer a big reveal after childbirth, a spouse may prefer to know if they are about to have a little princess or a future football star.
Whatever couple you are, it is always the best option to talk everything over and, most importantly, to make the decision in unison. Talk about why you want to know or not, what the advantages and disadvantages of both options are, and stick to your decision. It is your family, after all, and you should opt for what you consider best.
(2) It is non-traditional
Until recently, the only way of predicting your baby’s gender was the hearsay method our grandmothers or older women who would claim you are expecting a girl if your belly bump is high or a boy if you do not seem pregnant when seen from behind.
Nowadays, with all the technology, one of life’s many joys can be foreseen with the help of a half an hour 4D baby scan, however more traditional amongst us might smirk at such an idea as to reveal your baby’s gender before it comes out.
(3) Lessening the surprise on the big day
Although there are people who do not like surprises whatsoever, there are others who like them. Thus, they opt for not knowing their baby’s gender so as to fully enjoy the expectation of the big day.
Having a baby and knowing its gender before the very last moment may lessen the surprise on the big day, so instead of informing your family and friends on whether it is a boy or a girl, you only get the chance to tell them once the baby has finally arrived.
(4) Some ethnic groups reveal gender to terminate the pregnancy
Sadly, in today’s society, there are still some ethnic groups which use ultrasound scans to reveal baby’s gender and have an abortion if it is a girl.
One of the reasons to not have gender scan before 16 weeks of pregnancy is to prevent this heartless trend. Additionally, abortion is almost never performed after 12 weeks of pregnancy, as its consequences at any later stage may be very serious for mother’s psychological and physical wellbeing.
Please note that Private Ultrasound London does not provide gender scans for the purposes of gender selection. Therefore, a minimum 16 weeks pregnancy requirement is in place.
To sum up
Knowing your baby’s gender before it is born is a decision that may influence the second half of your pregnancy, but cannot influence your baby’s gender. While many parents prefer not to reveal it, due to the surprise factor and the enjoyment of expectancy, there are many others who cannot wait for the big day and prefer bonding with their baby by referring to it as either a ‘he’ or a ‘she’.
Whatever group you belong to, do not forget to enjoy your pregnancy. Also, learn all about the journey of pregnancy, familiarise yourself with what scans to have and how to take care of yourself while expecting, and, most importantly, remember that the joy of giving a new life is the greatest gift there is. Nobody can take that away from you.