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Finding out baby's sex

Sarah Horrocks
by Sarah Horrocks Published on January 22, 2009

Pink or blue for the nursery? Whatever the sex of your baby you'll love it with all your heart, but do you really want to know if it’s a boy or a girl? 70% of parents do...

How does it work?

Between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy a scan is carried out to check baby’s growth, behaviour and position. This is when you can find out your baby's sex (there is a very small chance of error). The majority of parents want to know the sex of their unborn child. If you don’t want to know then it’s important to let your doctor know before the scan.

The advantages and disadvantages


If you're hoping for a little boy or girl for whatever reason, finding out will avoid any kind of 'disappointment' and allow you, your friends and family to prepare for blue or pink! Knowing the sex of your baby helps to personalize your unborn bundle of joy, discuss names, and even start calling your baby by his or her name. You can prepare the nursery, buy suitable clothes and even prepare your birth announcement cards in advance if you're super-organized!


Not knowing what nature has in store makes parents-to-be use their imagination more and experience the pregnancy as a bit of a wonderful mystery.


In the UK, doctors can detect a baby's sex from 6 weeks onwards through a blood test that detects the presence of Y chromosomes in the mother’s blood which indicate that it's a boy (or otherwise). However, in some countries an early test increases the baby's chances of being aborted because of its sex, notably in India and China where sexual discrimination exists against girls.

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