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After I Read This, I Figured It’d Be Better Not To Know The Gender Of the Baby

After I Read This, I Figured It’d Be Better Not To Know The Gender Of the Baby

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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