Gone are the days of partners screaming out, “it’s a boy!” as they watch the doctor pull the baby out for the very first time. Though this is still an option, many people choose to learn the gender of their baby before the day of delivery. There are certainly benefits. When you know what your baby’s gender is, you can better plan the nursery and the wardrobe ahead of time. It will give you a head start on planning so that you can enjoy bringing baby home without the stresses of last minute arrangements. However, there are also some benefits to keeping the gender a mystery. What you choose depends completely on personal preference, but a recent study actually shows similarities in the people who choose to find out ahead of time.

Couples that choose to do prenatal testing on their baby in utero are more likely to find out the gender. Though, finding out the gender is not a requirement of the prenatal tests. In other words, these couples are just more likely to find out, probably because they are especially curious about their baby and his or her health beforehand. Many mothers choose not to do any prenatal testing because they believe their baby will be born just as he or she is supposed to. These mothers are more likely to wait for a surprise.

Though the matter is totally subjective and based on preference, there are a lot of benefits to waiting to find out your baby’s gender in my opinion. My mom and dad waited to find out my gender, so they painted my nursery pastel yellow, a neutral color. They had a strong (and incorrect) hunch I would be a boy, and they had the name Nicholas all picked out. The most important part was that in the last week or two of her pregnancy, my mom says that she was absolutely overcome with excitement. On the other hand, other moms-to-be often get very frustrated in these last weeks. They have the attitude, “come on little boy, make your way out already!” When you can’t truly picture your baby or name it for certain, there is an urgent sense of mystery that will probably distract you from the aches and pains of those last few gestational weeks. Plus, you and your family members can place bets for the big day and celebrate the surprise together.

Source: Angelique Kooper et al: Why Do Parents Prefer to Know the Fetal Sex as Part of Invasive Prenatal Testing. Obstetrics and Gynecology Volume 2012


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