Planning Your Gender Reveal Scan
Blog post by Sophia McCarthy
One of our most popular scans is the Gender Determination Scan, a full foetal wellbeing check that also determines the sex of the baby. This is a very exciting moment for first time parents—or those who may have eager siblings waiting at home for a gender reveal—so it’s incredibly important to accurately plan the date of your gender scan so you are not left disappointed on the day.
So why are dates so important for this scan? We have been performing gender scans for many years here at The Ultrasound Suite, and in our experience, we cannot 100% guarantee the gender unless your baby is measuring 16 weeks or later. Measurements in an ultrasound are critical sources of information as they monitor the rate of growth of the baby and provide crucial markers as to how your baby is doing. This is why we always provide a wellbeing scan alongside our gender scan. Some clinics don’t do this for their patients and we feel that this is a disservice to them as many details of the baby can be examined at this stage. We also assess the heart rate, umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid. In doing so, we have saved the lives of many babies by flagging delayed growth or unusual measurements around vital organs in what would have been an otherwise routine scan.
As such, on the day of your gender scan, our sonographers have to make the call based on the baby’s measurements. This means that even if you estimate that your baby is just about 16 weeks along, they might still measure a little bit smaller on the day. We have had many expectant parents in their eagerness book too early for their gender scan, or book on the exact day that their baby hits the estimated 16 week mark. While we understand it’s tempting to try and see the gender as soon as possible, this can result in having to book a follow-up and incur more expenses on the part of the patient. The scanning machines we use are top notch and stubbornly accurate, which sadly means they will always get the last word when it comes to gestational age – we can’t argue with them at all, try as we might!
This is why we advise to have your gestational dates as accurate as possible when booking. If you can bear to wait an extra week to be on the safe side, even better!
THE BIG REVEAL
So, now that all the number crunching and calendars are out of the way, you need to plan how you want the gender to be revealed! Some parents like the sonographer to tell them on the spot. However, if you would like the moment to be more private, our sonographers can print the gender and pop it into a secure envelope for you to open when you get home (or to the end of the corridor, or the car – depends on how long you can wait!).
Another popular option we have are confetti gender cannons, which can be bought at the clinic for €15 each. Just tell the sonographer how many you would like and they will get them ready for you at reception. The cannons are designed to keep the gender a mystery until the bottom is twisted and pink or blue confetti shoots out. We have received great feedback on the cannons as a fabulous, fun way to make siblings at home feel involved or for a more dramatic gender reveal gathering!
We have also gleaned some fun ideas from patients over the years; some decide to take the gender envelope to a gift shop to have a confetti balloon made—others have an avid baker in the family who can make a pink or blue cake concealed under icing. There are lots of memorable ways to reveal your baby’s gender, so do let us know of your preference when booking!
You can find out more information on our Gender Determination Scan and book online here.
If you would like more information on anything covered in this post, you can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on our Facebook page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Our website theultrasoundsuite.ie also provides a wealth of information on our various policies and procedures.
We look forward to seeing you soon!