Pros And Cons Of Learning The Gender Before Birth

Are you going to find out?

I wanted to know if I was expecting a boy for a girl the second I could. With both kids. Which is strange, because before I ever became pregnant I always thought I’d just wait until the baby was born.

I never realized how excited I would be to find out, though. So, while we went into our twenty-week ultrasound not certain whether we’d find out or not, the second the technician told us she knew what we were having, my husband and I exchanged a look and both just knew we wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl.

It wasn’t about planning the nursery or buying baby clothes, the reason I found out was because, as my good friend Barbara says, “I was just way too effing impatient not to.”  On Margaret Renki also does a nice job summarizing my feelings, “This baby was going to be one of the great loves of my life, and I wanted to learn as much about him or her as soon as I could learn it.”  I wanted no needed to be able to think of my baby in terms of a him or a her.

Click the link to read the pros and cons of learning the gender before birth.


Planning:  A definite pro of learning the sex is being able to prepare.  As a friend and mother of one toddler tells me, “It’s all about being able to plan! Maybe if I were filthy rich and could have my hired help go pick up everything while I recover a couple days in the hospital it would be different. However I’m not rich and have to plan and shop the sales.”  Without knowing the sex you’re stuck with a lot of yellow and green for clothing and decorations.  Candace Scoiscia isn’t thrilled with those options.  “I…HATE yellow and the curiosity would’ve killed me.”  Lindsey Swan seconds that emotion, “I just hate yellow, and when you don’t find out the sex of the baby everyone buys yellow crap. Also, I wanted all those luxurious months to plan the nursery.”  True enough, once you know the sex you can decorate the nursery and purchase clothing specifically designed for a boy or a girl.

Name Game:  Knowing the gender cuts down on half the names you’ll argue with your spouse about. As Candace says “It also cut down half our name choices why battle over a girl’s name if we know we’re not having one?”


No surprise:  That old-fashioned pronouncement of IT’S A BOY!  Or IT’S A GIRL is truly the greatest surprise.  So who cares about a little planning if it means you forgo experiencing the surprise of a lifetime?  Although, Margaret Renki tells the surprise isn’t exclusive to the delivery room,”…it’ll be a surprise no matter when we find out.”  If I wasn’t so impatient, I would totally wait to learn the sex.  Personally, I don’t care about planning a gender specific nursery.  Seems to me there would be nothing as amazing as making that phone call to relatives and shouting “IT’S A BOY or IT’S A GIRL!”

No Connection To History:  In an article for, Melissa Balmain says it was awesome to feel connected to the millions of women who went through their pregnancies without learning the sex, all while loved ones tried to guess what they were carrying.  “I enjoyed the feeling — also not available in the lab — that I was part of something ancient. Probably since caveman days, people have tried to guess the sex of unborn babies.”

Superstition: Some people believe it’s bad luck to find out what you’re having.  My friend, Allison, mother of two who hails from England, says she didn’t find out with either child.  “I think it’s a cultural thing, the English are far too superstitious.”  Melissa Balmain does an excellent job explaining why she preferred the moments when people tried to guess what she was having to anything science could dish up.  “When a lab technician looks at a computer screen and states, “You’re having a girl” or “You’re having a boy,” that’s it. But when friends, family, or neighbors take time to predict your baby’s sex, they’re saying a lot more — that having a baby is a big deal and so is becoming a parent. They want to be involved and invested in your life. In your baby’s life too.”

You can always experience both ways.  If you are having more than one child you can do like my friend Megan did and do it a different way with each child, although her reason for not finding out is rather unique.  “I didn’t find out with Ellie because I didn’t want my mother-in-law to be disappointed if she was a boy! I didn’t want to hear those rude comments again and it didn’t matter to me what I had (she had 2 sons and 3 grandsons and was pretty clear that she wanted a girl—good thing I came through with one!). The planning was fun with Dane, but the surprise was fun with Ellie. Not sure which one I liked better or if I had another baby which way I would go.”  Kim, mother of Nick, Abigail and Luke opted to experience each way as well.  “I ABSOLUTELY couldn’t wait…. so for Nick and Abby, we found out. WIth our third (especially being a total shocker that we were going to have another kid, POST VASECTOMY!!) we opted to wait and let it be the ultimate surprise!!”

Did you find out?  Why or why not?  Would you do it the same way over again?  Has anyone found out but their spouse preferred not to or the other way around?  I’d love to hear your experience.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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