- Prevent sexual stereotyping or gender bias.
While you might be open to more options if you don’t know, knowing automatically puts you into a definite girl or boy category. Some families complain that if they know they are having a girl or a boy, they are bombarded with gifts for that sex. Think pink!
It has also been discussed that moms who know the sex of their babies before birth describe the fetal movements differently. So that generic strong kicking becomes the male soccer player and the female ballerina.
- Life’s last great mystery.
Many parents cite the mystery as why they wish to wait. They enjoy the ability to explore all the options in their mind. The mystery of not knowing, the playing with the entire book of baby names, rather than just one half, is something that many parents actually enjoy.
- Makes labor more exciting.
Talk about the big reveal! Birth is where it used to happen all the time, not so any more. Hearing it’s a girl or it’s a boy from your partner at birth is something that some find very special. This can’t really be replicated at the ultrasound because of the interpretation of the scan that is needed.
Some families really prize these special moments. I know that with one of our children, when we did not know, hearing a sibling call out, “It’s a boy!” was a very sweet sound indeed and one of my fondest labor memories.
Some moms point to the fact that they felt like labor was easier when they didn’t know. They speak about pushing harder and feeling more excited than when they knew the outcome. This is certainly not true for everyone, but definitely will keep you guessing until the very last second.
- Not always right.
There is also the possibility of error. While the number of errors seems to have dropped in recent years, it is still possible. This can lead to sadness or even depression, which, while temporary, is still real and not something that you want to deal with at birth. This is particularly true when everyone is telling you that you should be happy for a healthy baby, not realizing you’ve just had a mental miscarriage of the baby that you’d been dreaming of, despite the fact that he or she has been replaced with another healthy infant.
- There is no medical need for an ultrasound.
If you don’t have a medical need for an ultrasound and your insurance doesn’t cover it, you may not have a chance to find out. This also applies to invasive genetic testing done merely for sex determination. When parents have to pay out of pocket or are worried about the potential effects of testing, they may choose not to go through with it.