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Gender Reveal Parties – The Perils of Scheduling the Day of Your Scan!

Holy cow. Another anatomy screen, another request to call someone, text someone, or seal in a special envelope the special results for your Gender Reveal party. The pressure is on! But David Copperfield, we sonographers are not. And since we can’t reach in there and rotate the little sweat pea, sometimes we just can’t deliver (no pun intended) on the gender surprise.

I hate when this happens! Mostly because they usually leave the room hating me. But what can we do?

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this event? Gender Reveal parties have become a big way to celebrate how parents, family, and friends find out the sex of their baby. I have to admit it’s a cute idea and must be totally fun, especially with all the creative ways expectant parents have discovered to broadcast the news. But a word of caution! Some patients schedule their party for the same night as their sonogram. And even though most people know gender cannot always be determined at the 18 – 20 Week scan, some still hope for the best and plan the party anyway.

Being able to determine the gender should never be a guess. We’ve all heard the stories from our patients…”My cousin, Martha, was told five times it was a boy until a girl popped out. It must have been the thumb or the cord in the way.”

I always tell patients either I’m sure or I just don’t know. Just tossing out a guess isn’t fair to the patient! And a 70% or 80% guess means your sonographer is just not very confident about that guess. Guessing leads to a return of the dearly beloved tutu for a football jersey. I simply do not want to be responsible for all the consequences that follow – especially the emotional ones for mom and dad or partner.

I will say, however, I have enjoyed taking a picture of cleverly annotated gender and wrapping it up in a peek-proof envelope for my patients. It’s a bit time-consuming in this age of electronic medical records, but we do understand the excitement that goes along with such a visit. I am so happy when I CAN share that with you!

I hope all sonographers do their best to give their patients gender information accurately, but in the event we can’t make this determination – don’t shoot the messenger. After all, even though you may say you want us to guess, you’d rather us be correct;)

I know it’s a bummer! But wait to schedule your party. And if Baby’s sex cannot be determined and you decide to visit an elective 3D non-medical business, please do your research! Be sure to ask if their sonographers are formally educated and not some random Joe Blow off the street. (Yes, it happens!) Look for RDMS or DMS credentials after his or her name.

Apparently, nobody likes yellow cake anymore. 🙁