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Girl or Boy: Do you have a preference?

Is it wrong to want one or the other?


Updated July 17, 2014

Pregnancy Ultra-Sound.
Tim Hale/Stone/Getty Images

We all want a healthy baby. There is no question about that, so it's rarely even spoken as a question, just an assumption. The real questions start to come when you discuss the sex of your baby. Do you want a girl or a boy?

That is certainly a loaded question. Some would argue that we all have a preference, even if we don't admit it. Others openly say that only sometimes does the preference surface, for example if you already have a boy and this time you'd like a girl or vice versa. Is it ever a problem to desire one sex over another?

The mother of four boys might say that her desire to have a baby girl overrides the reality that the statistics are against her. Will her desire for a baby girl impact her relationship with her sons? For most of us the answer is no. We simply grieve the loss of the dream of the sex we had hoped for and move on.

Though there are some women and their partners who actually experience more than a passing depression over the sex of their baby. For these people, counseling to explore their feelings is a must, even if they feel that it does not effect their relationship with their child. The feelings will come out, even if in small ways. There are also couples who choose to do sex selection techniques to ensure the sex of their next baby, like MicroSort®, Shettles Method, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), etc.

Finding Out Before Birth

The case for finding out the sex of your baby before birth is largely based on claims of prenatal bonding, selection of a name and preparation for a new baby. Some mothers feel that it would be easier to deal with a less than ideal sex or even an outright disappointment prior to the birth of their baby. So that knowing ahead of time actually allows them to work through their grieving process during the pregnancy, rather than in the immediate postpartum period.

Though ultrasound is not perfect. Heck, even genetic testing has its limits. Mistakes are made and heart are unnecessarily broken, even if just for a little while. Let's not forget the expense that could happen if the baby turns out to be of the opposite sex. This can lead to a different depression after bonding with your baby boy or girl, only to find out that your baby is the opposite sex.

You might also be interested in: Coping with Gender Disappointment

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