'What sex is my baby?' is a question that we hear from a lot of expectant parents, but not everyone is interested in hearing the answer to that question - in fact, many of the people who come to us a for a pregnancy scan specifically ask not to be told their unborn baby's gender.
The Find Out or Wait? debate is one that's caused a lot of arguments. Many people can't imagine why anyone would want to delay the big reveal; others can't imagine why anyone would want to spoil the surprise ahead of time. Sometimes, even the parents themselves can't agree - one will want to find out right away, while the other will want to wait until the birth date!
Then, of course, there are the people on the fence. If you're reading this blog post, you may well be one of them. The question on your mind isn't 'What sex is my baby?' but 'Should I find out the sex of my baby?'
Today, we're going to help you decide. Here are some of the most common arguments for and against finding out:
- For: You'll be able to pick a name sooner! Finding out your baby's sex instantly allows you to eliminate 50% of the names you're considering. You won't have to worry about choosing between 'Lily' and 'Ivy' if you already know that you're having a boy!
- Against: You'll ruin the surprise! Finding out whether you're the parent of a boy or a girl is one of the biggest and best surprises you'll ever experience, and many people (including the author of this Huffington Post article) say that the surprise is all the better when you find out in the delivery room.
- For: You get to tell all your friends and relatives! Your nearest and dearest are sure to be itching for updates on your pregnancy, and they'll be thrilled if they can find out the baby's gender ahead of the birth. You can even give them our Gender Reveal Cards to make it even more exciting!
- Against: You'll end up with loads of pink/blue stuff! You may be able to resist the temptation to buy loads of colour-coded, gender-specific products for your baby after finding out the results of your gender scan, but that doesn't mean your friends and family won't do it for you. If you want to avoid the 'sports for boys/princesses for girls' stereotypes, leaving the gender unknown can be a good way to do so.
- For: You won't be disappointed on the day! If you have your heart set on a specific sex for your unborn baby, it may be a good idea to find out in advance - that way, if it's not the gender you were hoping for, you'll have time to get over your disappointment and get excited all over again for the boy/girl that you're actually having!
- Against: You won't be disappointed on the day anyway! The aforementioned Huffington article points out that, even if you were hoping for one gender or the other, that won't matter on the big day - any disappointment will be washed away by the excitement and joy of becoming a parent!
- For: You'll feel closer to your baby! Many expectant parents find that knowing the gender helps them to feel closer to their baby during the pregnancy. After all, it's easier to visualise your future child when you know whether that child is a boy or a girl.
- Against: The sonographer might get it wrong! The 'wait and see' camp love to make this point, and it's true that no gender scan is 100% infallible. That said, our sonographers can accurately identify the gender in the vast majority of cases, and if the baby's position makes it difficult for us to know for sure, we'll tell you so - we never just guess! Furthermore, we will show you the evidence for our decision on a large plasma screen during your appointment, so you won't just have to take our word for it.
Whether you want to find out your baby's gender or not, we at First Encounters Ultrasound are the people to call for your pregnancy scan. Note that gender is always depicted using traditional 2D ultrasound technology (even when a gender scan is included as part of one of our 4D packages); since gender is not visible on a 4D scan, you are not obliged to find out the gender if you get a 4D ultrasound session.
If you do want to find out your baby's gender, we have a variety of options to choose from. Gender can be ascertained from 16 weeks (we do not recommend booking a gender scan before the 16-week mark, as this greatly reduces the accuracy of the results). The cut-off point for a gender scan is 34 weeks maximum; after this point, a gender scan cannot be performed due to the size of your baby.
Browse our Scan Packages now to book your gender scan with First Encounters Ultrasound. If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call on 02920 732671.
Once your pregnancy has reached the second trimester, you may want to find out whether your unborn child is a boy or a girl. There was a time when expectant parents simply had to wait until the big day to discover the gender of their new arrival, but modern technology makes it possible to learn the sex of a baby months before he or she is delivered.
If you want to know whether to expect a little girl or a baby boy, First Encounters Ultrasound offer the following gender scan packages:
Gender confirmation is also offered alongside many of our other ultrasound packages - simply advise your sonographer if you wish to learn the sex of your baby, and they will be happy to tell you.
2D sexing scan, 18-26 weeks, includes 2 black and white photographs
2D sexing/reassurance/growth/wellbeing scan, 16-32 weeks, includes 4 black and white photographs
2D sexing/reassurance/growth scan and 4D bonding scan, 20-32 weeks, includes 4 colour photographs
Gender Confirmation - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I find out the sex of my baby?
A: Not everyone wants to know their baby's gender ahead of time, and you may prefer to keep it as a surprise, but many expectant parents request gender confirmation to help them decide on a name, decorate the nursery, pick out clothing, and so forth. Others simply find that knowing the gender helps them to feel closer to their baby - it's easier to picture your future child when you know whether they're going to be male or female!
Q: Do ultrasound scans ever get the gender wrong?
A: No sexing scan is 100% infallible, and the opinion of your sonographer should not be taken as an airtight guarantee that your child will turn out to be the gender specified. However, we will point out that - should you visit our clinic to find out the sex of your baby - your scan will be carried out by a fully-qualified obstetric ultrasound specialist with extensive knowledge and experience. They will give you their professional opinion regarding your baby's gender, and this will almost always turn out to be correct.
Q: How soon can I find out my baby's sex?
A: Your baby's sexual organs won't be visible on an ultrasound until roughly the 14-week mark, and even then it can be difficult to accurately judge his or her gender. We recommend waiting until you are 16 weeks pregnant to undergo a gender confirmation scan.
Q: Can I have a 4D bonding scan without finding out my baby's gender?
A: Of course! We appreciate that some people don't want to know the sex ahead of time, and so our sonographers will not reveal anything unless you specifically ask them to do so. Feel free to give us a call on 02920 732671 to tell us exactly what you want from your scan - we'll be more than happy to recommend a package that suits your needs.