A doctor can determine the sex of the baby as early as the tenth week of pregnancy. But should you find out the baby’s gender, or should it be a surprise?
Today, there are many reasons during pregnancy parents want to know whether they’re expecting a boy or a girl. Some might want to decorate the child’s room with decorations that match the gender. Others want to buy suitable clothes in pinks or blues, or narrow down their baby name choices. Perhaps knowing the gender will help them to start establishing a bond with the child, even in utero. or maybe they’re more concerned with keeping in control of the situation.
In a world where everything’s instantly available with one click of the smartphone, there aren’t many things we have to leave to chance, so it’s no wonder many expectant parents don’t want to be surprised after nine months of pregnancy.
How does the sex of the baby get determined?
Even though it might take several weeks before doctors can reveal whether you’re having a boy or girl, the baby gender is determined at the time of fertilization. The mother passes an X chromosome to the baby, and the father will provide either an X or a Y chromosome. If XX is present, it’s a girl. If XY is present, it’s a boy.
Image by raman bhardwaj from Pixabay
How can you see the sex of the baby?
There are different ways to find out your baby’s gender. Here are the most common ones:
Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)
Some expectant parents, especially those with high risk pregnancies, can find out the child’s gender around the 10th week through a blood test called noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). This is different than amniocentesis, which also can test for a chromosomal abnormality.
Ultrasound and Sonogram
Traditional ultrasounds aren’t able to identify the baby’s sex until around weeks 16-20, but if the baby’s not in a good position, it’s hard to tell if you’re having a boy or girl. Today, a gynecologist or ultrasound technician will usually tell the mother the sex of her child during a sonogram. If the parents don’t want to know the baby’s sex until it’s born, let your doctor know!
This is also the time when pregnant women first begin to notice the baby moving, and when many start to develop a close bond with their baby. They might feel that the way the baby moves is a reaction to their own behavior. The baby’s sleep phases are shorter and the mother’s body is less restricted when lying, so nighttime is when you might feel your budding soccer star kicking inside your pregnant belly. Stroking the abdominal wall can have a calming effect on the child and also intensify the mother-child bond.
Early signs of your baby’s sex
For centuries, there have been a lot of superstitious beliefs about how to determine the sex of the baby. There’s nothing wrong with most of them. For example, pimples during pregnancy are a sign for a girl, because she’s already stealing some of her mother’s beauty. Will cloudy urine and a wide belly will result in a beautiful daughter? Perhaps! Or maybe different food cravings might give some clues about the baby’s sex? There are countless of these “old wive’s tales“, but most parents are only concerned about their child’s health.
Some people also like to take a pregnancy quiz, where they can guess the baby gender based on things like the Chinese month and year of conception. It might seem that everyone likes to predict “boy or girl”. But without medical confirmation, there isn’t a quiz you can take or question you can answer that can tell you if you’re having a baby boy or girl. So even though an early quiz or question might be fun to get an idea of the gender, don’t put too much credit in those early signs!
Should I find out the sex of the baby?
While there are several benefits of finding out the sex of the baby ahead of time, here are a few things to ask to make sure you REALLY want to know.
Can I handle the suspense of waiting a little longer to know if I’m having a boy or girl?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you might want to wait to find out if you’re having a son or daughter. If you can’t stand the suspense any longer, thanks to modern medicine, you don’t have to rely on what somebody might predict or a random cravings quiz about your baby’s gender.
Wanting to know the baby’s sex in advance is a personal decision and outsiders should not be allowed to interfere. Even if the pressure is great when someone asks: “And, what will it be?” – just smile with an inner radiance and say: “A baby!”
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