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Pregnancy / Smartmum / Trimester 1 / Trimester 2

Boy or Girl: How Can I Find Out the Sex of My Baby?

Boy or Girl: How Can I Find Out the Sex of My Baby?

Boy or Girl: How Can I Find Out the Sex of My Baby?

When you tell your friends, family and loved ones the good news about your baby, we can predict that their first excited question will probably be: is it a boy or a girl?

This will probably be one of your first questions too. But how do you actually find out this vital information — the sex of your foetus?

Non-scientific Methods

For years, people had to rely on folklore. Even today, there are people who say that you can tell if you are expecting a boy if the mum-to-be craves salty foods, and that it’s likely to be a girl if you are moodier than usual during pregnancy.

There are also beliefs about ensuring the sex of the baby before conception. But for now, we will cover finding out the sex of your baby after conception.

A word of advice: it may be best to stay away from home gender test kits that you see on the Web, as the scientific basis of these tests are not strong and they may not be reliable, says Dr Tan Thiam Chye, an obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Scientific Methods

An ultrasound scan remains the most common way for doctors to determine the sex of your baby. A non-invasive procedure, it involves beaming sound waves onto your belly and through the walls of your uterus. A computer then shows a picture of these waves — with your baby as the star.

As long as the ultrasound occurs around 16 weeks or more into your pregnancy, the technician should be able to tell you if your baby is a boy or girl by visually examining the picture. But even this is not guaranteed, as your baby may be covering their genitals with their hand. Another way of telling the sex is through a pregnancy screening test, such as the Harmony or Panorama tests. You can find out the sex as early as Week 11, though these tests tend to be pricey, starting at around S$1,000.

Conclusion: You Don’t Have to Find Out the Answer

Many couples want the sex of their baby to remain a surprise until their bundle of joy arrives. That’s perfectly understandable! If you too want to preserve the mystery, just let your doctor know. For some, it’s enough to know that your baby is happy, healthy and will soon be in your arms. But there are some advantages to knowing if it’s going to be a boy or a girl — like narrowing down your list of potential names, preparing your nursery, or, if this is not your first child, prepping your older child(ren) for the arrival of their brother or sister.

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MBBS (S'pore), M.Med(O&G) (S'pore) Head & Senior Consultant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology KK Women's and Children's Hospital Director (Clinical), Office of Patient Experience Deputy Director (Education), KKH Campus Associate Professor Duke - NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

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