You may not want to rely on just an ultrasound to determine the sex -- an amniocentesis is a more accurate test.

If you have an ultrasound around this time, the technician or doctor may be able to see whether your baby is a girl or a boy. Ultrasounds can be an effective way to determine the gender of your baby. Unlike amniocentesis, however, ultrasounds are not foolproof when it comes to showing whether your baby is a boy or a girl. Usually it's obvious if the baby is a boy because his scrotum and penis are discernible. Sometimes, though, the scrotum and penis aren't visible because of the position the baby is in, making a boy look like a girl. And sometimes the umbilical cord can slip between the legs of a girl and look like a penis, making a girl look like a boy. An ultrasound at this point is probably accurate, but don't paint the nursery pink or blue unless you have an amniocentesis.

Of course, just because modern science has the technology to determine whether you're carrying a son or daughter doesn't mean you have to find out. There's nothing wrong with waiting until delivery day to know your baby's gender. Some parents-to-be ask to be told their baby's sex, but they keep the information to themselves. If that's your inclination, go ahead and save the secret. You don't owe it to the world to tell everything you know.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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