Every parent wants a healthy newborn, but the baby's sex is a close second when it comes to personal preference.
Girl vs. Boy
Once the doctor announces that your baby has ten fingers, ten toes and is in great health, you now realize you have a boy or a girl, or multiples, on your hands. While some parents don't care about their baby's gender, others may have reasons for wanting a particular sex, such as:
- Already have a boy or girl at home: If you already have one or more children at home of a certain gender, you may want to balance things out with a sibling of the opposite sex.
- Think one sex is easier to raise: Some people believe that girls are easier to raise than boys or vice versa. Because of these beliefs, they decide that they only want one gender.
- Only plan to have one child: Parents who plan to have only one child may want either a girl or a boy. In some countries around the world, boys are preferred because they're expected to carry on the family name and are considered more "valuable" than girls.
- Sex-related abnormalities: Hemophilia is a disease that's almost unheard of in girls. It affects boys on a much larger scale, so parents who are concerned that their fetus may be at risk for abnormalities that overwhelmingly affect one gender over another may have a preference.
Finding Out Baby's Gender Before Birth
Today's technological advances allow expectant parents to find out a lot of information before the birth. While many parents take advantage of this technology to see whether they need to begin buying everything in pink or blue, there are still some pregnant women and their partners who want to be surprised at the moment of delivery. Plus, their doctors still get to announce "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!"
Some pros and cons of finding out the baby's sex before birth include the following:
- More time to prepare: If you're itching to decorate your baby's nursery in girl or boy themes, you may want to find out the gender ahead of time. You'll have plenty of time to buy baby clothing suited for either sex as well.
- Can decide on a name: For some parents, choosing a name makes the baby seem more "real" and knowing whether you'll have a boy or a girl makes this task much easier.
- Feel more traditional: Maybe you're not interested in all that technology has to offer. Babies have been born for thousands of years, and only in recent history has it become common to find out the gender before birth. There are many Old Wives' Tales about gender and baby gender prediction games you can play -- they may not be accurate, but they're all in good fun.
- Not always right: Ultrasound is widely used to detect any fetal abnormalities during pregnancy, and many sonographers also use them to predict a baby's sex. Unlike amniocentesis, this method of gender prediction isn't as absolute. Some parents have excitedly bought everything in pink and decorated a nursery perfect for a little princess, only to find out in the delivery room that they now have a little prince. The development of 3D ultrasounds provides more reassurance, but in any case, the later in the pregnancy you wait, the better the chances of accurate gender prediction.
- May be disappointed: If you find out you're having a boy, but really want a girl, or vice versa, you may be disappointed by knowing the gender before birth. This can cloud the rest of the pregnancy for either parent.
- Not a surprise: Some surprises are just fun, and hearing "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" can be enjoyable for everyone present. Finding out the baby's sex beforehand takes away the surprise element.
Whether you have a boy or a girl, remember that a healthy baby is something to celebrate. Your newborn may grow up to be a linebacker, physician, astronaut or movie star, but he or she will always be your child.