Is it a boy or a girl? Everyone will be asking you that as soon as they know your family is expecting a baby. This will continue right up to the birth and then all will be revealed! But only if you have decided not to discover or reveal the gender of your baby. Why on earth would you want to do that?
There are lots of good, sound reasons why. Here are 8 of them.
1. You take a stand against gender stereotyping
If you do not know the sex of the baby, you are keeping things as gender neutral as possible. This can help you concentrate on what type of person your child will be and how you will influence their character when growing up. Ian McEwan is in favor of not finding out the sex either.
Bonding is not affected negatively. When talking about the new arrival, you can refer to your baby as a boy or a girl as the mood takes you. It enriches the expectation that no matter what their sex is, their birth is going to bring great joy.
In India, where gender is sometimes a matter of life and death, the Supreme Court has ruled that ultrasounds used for determining the sex of a fetus are illegal.
“Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.” – Ian McEwan.
2. You do not have to worry about a gender reveal party
This will save you a lot of hassle and expense. In addition, you will not be showered with blue or pink outfits, accessories and gadgets.
3. You can have a lot of fun choosing the baby’s name
Now that you have no idea which way it will go, you can both have a great time thinking about possible names. You never have to bother with unisex baby names which are somewhat limited, such as Ashley, Ashton, Leslie, Sydney, Cameron, or Wesley. When planning a boy’s name, bear in mind what he may have to put up with at school. It can be a great weapon for bullies. The choice of a girl’s name is much less restricted.
4. You cannot totally rely on an ultrasound test
Just in case you are having doubts during the nine month wait, console yourself with the fact that the US is not always 100% accurate. In fact, experts say that there is a margin of error of 15%, as a lot depends on the position of the baby and its movements.
If your medical insurance does not cover this type of test, think of the savings and how they can be spent on your new arrival
5. You will not have to listen to old wives’ tales
Once people know the sex of the baby, they go on and on about your shape and the way you walk. Lots of popular beliefs which go back a long time. The most notorious are those quoted in the Distaff Gospels which date back to 1470. They say that if you start walking with your right foot first, you will have a boy. If you start with the left foot, you will have a girl.
But modern day ‘old wives’ go one better. They pretend to be able to guess the sex by analyzing your morning sickness, heartburn and, of course, the shape of your bump!
6. You can plan on recycling
Did you know that the parents who decide not to discover their babies’ gender are known as Team Green? They are adding a new color to the scene. Getting away from the pink for a girl and blue for a boy is just the beginning in the mission to make gender more neutral. But it is still controversial and many parents are reluctant to go down the Team Green route, especially for their firstborn.
However, if you do decide to go Team Green, just think of the savings and how you can recycle all this stuff again and again for all those brothers and sisters who will follow. You can use your gender neuter cradle, bedding, stroller and toys again and again.
7. Variations on a theme
Some couples cannot reach an agreement. The father may want to know and book the US and not tell the mother because she does not want to know, or vice versa. Then there is the whole question of what you tell all the curious relatives.
If you want to be traditional, then there is no need to know, like the zillions of parents down the ages. The great thing about it is that there is no gender socialization going on during the pregnancy. It is comforting to know that your child is enjoying nine gender-free months.
8. Pre-birth gender conditioning is reduced
Mothers who know the sex of their baby address and talk to it differently. They also interpret movements accordingly. Vigorous kicking will be a footballer, if it is a boy. The girl on the other hand will become a brilliant ballerina! The gender role stereotyping has already begun before the baby is even born. This is one the great arguments in favor of not knowing, especially if you think we are too gender oriented as a society.
As we have seen, not knowing the sex of your baby has enormous advantages and can lead to more anticipation, excitement and joy on the big day. It puts the emphasis squarely on what kind of person your baby is going to be, whether it is a boy or a girl.
Featured photo credit: Baby Savannah/ Eduardo Merille via flickr.com