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Should You Find Out Your Baby’s Gender Before Birth?

Learning that you’re pregnant is incredibly exciting, but it also comes with lots of decisions. What will you name the baby? Should you schedule an at-home or hospital delivery? Where will the nursery go?

Another important decision that expecting parents must decide on is whether or not to identify the baby’s gender before birth. This is a very personal choice, so it’s important to consider the pros, cons, and ways to find out. 

How Can I Find Out My Baby’s Gender Before Birth?

There are several ways to find out your baby’s gender before giving birth. Traditionally, a mother undergoes an ultrasound sometime between weeks 18-20 of pregnancy. However, this method isn’t entirely accurate. 

Thanks to advances in screening technology, you now have the option of prenatal non-invasive testing (NIPT). NIPT uses a blood sample provided by the mother to determine a baby’s gender. 

What Are Some Popular Reasons Families Choose to Find Out Their Baby’s Gender?

There are several reasons families choose to find out their baby’s gender before giving birth, including:

  • Planning and preparation

If you know the gender of your baby, it may be easier to prepare for the arrival. If you are looking for gender-specific products, you can plot out what things you’d like to purchase for the baby. Knowing the gender may help you make buying decisions and can inform friends and family members as they’re thinking about gifts as well.  

  • Picking a name

Before birth, many parents come up with dozens of potential names. Finding out your baby’s gender beforehand can narrow down the list and make the decision process a little less overwhelming.

  • Getting the family involved

Do you already have young children at home? If so, revealing the gender of your growing baby can encourage family participation. Kids have great imaginations, but knowing if they’re going to have a little brother or sister can make them feel connected and ready for the arrival of their sibling.

Why Do Some Families Choose Not to Find Out Their Baby’s Gender?

Likewise, there are several reasons families choose not to find out their baby’s gender before birth. Some of these reasons include:

  • Gender reveals spoil the surprise

Having a baby is one of life’s most exciting moments. Some couples feel that knowing the gender before giving birth spoils the surprise. Additionally, it’s possible to monitor your growing baby’s health without knowing the gender. This provides peace of mind while giving you something to look forward to.

  • Tests aren’t 100% accurate

Tests used to reveal a baby’s gender aren’t 100% accurate. This is especially true when it comes to ultrasounds. If your baby isn’t in the right position on the day of your appointment, it may be impossible to tell the gender. Even if your OB/GYN makes a determination, you could have a baby of the opposite gender anyway.

  • It prevents a glut of gender-specific gifts

If friends and family members know your baby’s gender, you’re more likely to receive gender-specific clothing and toys. For families that want their nursery to be gender-neutral, this can throw a wrench in the gears. 

If I Find Out My Baby’s Gender Before Birth, Are There Other Things I Can Find Out As Well?

If NIPT determines that your child is at risk for a genetic disorder, your OB/GYN might also recommend amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. These tests aren’t used to determine gender alone, but they can reveal the gender if you’re already planning to participate in one or both types of screening.

If you’re still unsure about revealing your baby’s gender, schedule an appointment with your general practitioner or OB/GYN. They can further discuss the pros and cons of both options. 

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