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Should you find out the sex of your baby?

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Delivery surprise?

Should you find out the sex of your baby? Almost as soon as you start showing while pregnant, people begin asking if you are having a girl or boy. Friends, family, coworkers, strangers -- everyone just wants to know and thinks they deserve to. Moms weigh in on this important pregnancy decision.

Pregnant Belly with Question Marks

"Oooh, do you know if it's a girl or a boy?"

If pregnant moms had a dollar for every time they are asked that question, then they wouldn't need to worry about funds for diapers for a very, very long time. Things have changed. Whereas 30 years ago, the technology was new and the pictures incredibly fuzzy and grainy, today ultrasounds are a lot more clear (though, the image on the screen can still be a little confusing at times). Parents can not only find out the sex at their regularly scheduled 20-week ultrasound (find out here what to expect at your 20-week ultrasound), but they can see his or her face at elective 4-D ultrasounds.

But just because you can find out the sex of baby, does that mean you should? Even though it seems like the world is entitled to knowing the very private anatomical details of the fetus inside your uterus, they aren't. Unless you personally want to know and share, then the baby's sex is something you have every right to keep quiet about.

So, should you?

Just do it

One of the great things about modern technology is that it gives you the ability to know at just 20 weeks what the gender of your baby is, months before birth. That opens up the ability to prepare a gender-specific nursery, purchase gender-specific clothes and not only pick out a name, but start to use it. That means that you can even personalize baby items and really internalize that you are in fact having a baby.

Some moms say that they just cannot pass up that opportunity. "My husband and I right from the start had to know the gender of the baby for two reasons: we are curious people by nature and also, I had to know because I was having a baby shower and people were stating to ask if it was a girl or boy. It took a lot of pressure off," said Kristina Irwin of 24Karat Public Relations.

Just wait

But just because you can doesn't mean you should. The gender of your child is one of life's last true surprises, if you let it be. Waiting makes delivery an ultra-special moment since the doctor will have to announce the sex ... and it will actually mean something. As for gender specific everything, do you really want the nursery to be a pink or blue explosion?

Also, the ultrasound is actually intended to make sure that baby is positioned properly in the uterus and that they are developing correctly. Gender is an afterthought of the procedure.

Some moms and dads-to-be like the surprise of waiting to find out whether it's a girl or a boy. "With my first baby, I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, either would be just fine by me, so I wanted to be surprised. The ultrasound technician respected that, and asked me if I was sure I didn't want to know. It was good to see the head and the heart beating and get a good idea of due date," said Jeanne M. Perdue, editor of Zeus Technology magazine.

Out of your hands

When you go for an ultrasound, sometimes finding out the baby's sex is beyond your control. In order to determine the gender of the baby, the baby has to reveal its anatomical features while the ultrasound is happening. That doesn't always happen.

Additionally, at least one ex-pat says that the cultural and language barrier turned out to be a true road block when she tried to keep her baby's sex as a birth day surprise. "Unfortunately, the German technician did not understand our request to keep the sex of our baby a surprise. Right away he told us that our daughter was very eager to make her sex known, and throughout the two hour ultrasound she proceeded to flash us! Just in case we missed it," said Cales Cantrall, owner of MarieLynnBoutique.

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Tell us: Do you think moms-to-be should find out the sex of their baby? Comment below!

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