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Hospital policy not to tell you the sex - why?

(33 Posts)
NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 15:44:32

Just had a 20 week scan - everything hunky dory. Yay!

We asked what the sex of the baby was, and the (very nice) sonographer said it was hospital policy not to tell parents to be.

Does anyone know why this is? I have my suspicions, but they are a bit ridiculous.

andiem Wed 24-Jun-09 15:45:27

because they
a may get it wrong
b some cultures value males over girls so will terminate a female pregnancy if they know

UnquietDad Wed 24-Jun-09 15:46:32

I think it's because some don't want girls as much and might endeavour to ensure the baby was not born.

That sounds horrible, and is maybe the same as your "ridiculous suspicions", but it's what I've been told.

NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 15:50:38

That was my suspicion. But I thought that it couldn't possibly be right.

andiem Wed 24-Jun-09 15:51:30

it is right nt east london is particularly bad sad

TrillianAstra Wed 24-Jun-09 15:51:41

How bizarre.

I thought it might be to avoid gender-specific terminations too, but then thought 'surely that doesn't really happen, not at 20 weeks'.

NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 15:55:31

Surely it can't be that simple to get a termination at that stage for gender reasons?

(I am pro-choice by the way)

PacificDogwood Wed 24-Jun-09 15:56:12

This is policy in lots of hospitals, do not take it personally.
Predicting gender by ultrasound scan can be wrong (either way wink) and apparently some arsey people have sued obstetric units because they decorated the nursery in blue and then went on to have a "pink" baby shock and vice versa.
Also the above sad... too horrible for words.
If you were to have diagnostic genetic tests done (obviously NOT just to predict the sex of an unborn child)like amnio or CVS the gender would inevitably be part of the result and you'd be offered to be told. But a lot of people prefer not to know and to have a surprise on the day smile.
Hope all goes well for your pregnancy.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 24-Jun-09 15:56:30

Our hospital has adopted that policy too. It didn't bother me as we didn't to know.
But after having a scan 'go wrong' and also my friend had a 20 week scan where the baby had practically every thing physically wrong with it...

A sonographer at our hosp told me that hospitals don't tell you the sex because thats not what the scan is for, but some parents think the whole purpose of the scan is to find out what they are having so they can go shopping.

So a fully trained sonographer doing her job, maybe can't get a good look at the genital area, is then pestered by the parents to try again to get a better view, when their anomaly scan is over and there's a queue outside.

weegiemum Wed 24-Jun-09 15:57:20

Hospitals don't want to be sued for telling you the wrong sex!

andiem Wed 24-Jun-09 15:57:37

they don't get the terminations on the nhs they are either home jobs or they go abroad

Niecie Wed 24-Jun-09 15:58:04

The hospital where I was supposed to have DS2 didn't tell you the sex of the baby because they claimed that there was a 5% error rate. As about 4000 babies were born every year there would be as many as 200 mistakes which sounds like quite a lot to me.

Presumably somebody in the past had taken exception to being one of the 5% and they weren't prepared to say any more.

I don't think the cultural aspect was particularly a problem although I suppose they wouldn't risk saying that either!

NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 16:02:56

TBH I really hope it's because they are scared of getting it wrong, rather than anything else.

it's amazing that people would sue for the sonographer getting the sex wrong. Quite quite pathetic.

Well, it'll just be a nice surprise for us when he/she pops out. (after hours of agony, of course)

NorthernLurker Wed 24-Jun-09 16:07:44

If you really want to know you can pay for a gender scan privately. Sadly I imagine that's what people whose motives are less than admirable also do...sad

growingup Wed 24-Jun-09 16:07:52

Message withdrawn

scottishmummy Wed 24-Jun-09 16:11:00

many hosps wont tell,nothing personal.

largely fear of litigious parents. "you said boy and we decorated horatio's bedroom,spent money on boy mural blah blah"

NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 16:11:38

you're right about the blanket policy if that is the case.
I would be fuming if I was Asian and they didn't tell me just because of my ethnic background.

PeppermintPatty Wed 24-Jun-09 16:15:03

When my sister lived in Bradford they wouldn't tell her the sex of her baby. It's because there's a high Asian population there and reports of women aborting female babies

NigellaTufnel Wed 24-Jun-09 16:15:48

Hmmm... Horatio...

It could be a contender.

Thanks! : )

rostbeef Wed 24-Jun-09 16:22:55

Abortions can legally be performed if continuing with the pregnancy involves a greater risk to the "physical or mental health of the woman, or her existing children, than having an abortion" - so if someone doesn't want the baby at 20 weeks then that is within the legal limit and the pregnancy can be ended.
So I guess its possible that someone might wish to terminate after finding the sex out - in which case the blanket rule seems sensible. (I am pro choice too - these are just the facts as I understand them)

alana39 Wed 24-Jun-09 20:28:01

The hospital should really tell you in advance - ours sends out a letter, with the scan appointment, explaining that the scan is to identify abnormalities and they basically aren't going to waste their time waiting for the baby to get into the right position to peak between the legs. However, I suspect that in most of the areas where there is a blanket policy there's also a concern about cultural issues behind it, but they'll never say that in public.

jaype Wed 24-Jun-09 20:29:55

I think that you'd have to have some very strong reasons for a doctor to sign off a late abortion - very few are actually performed after 20 weeks (about 2 percent of all of them). However, there are always some doctors who, for the right amount of money, will be less than ethical.

Tidey Wed 24-Jun-09 20:36:55

The hospital where my DC were born had the same policy but offered a 'social scan' (ie, you could bring along the whole family if you wanted) at 23 weeks at a cost of £50 in order to find out the sex. They were very clear that if they weren't sure about the sex you would either be offered another scan or given a refund.

Even though I'm one of the people daft enough to pay up, because I hate surprises grin, I don't really see the point of this. Why should giving them £50 change their policy?

Tidey Wed 24-Jun-09 20:37:34

Oh, and congratulations by the way! smile

madmissy Wed 24-Jun-09 20:37:53

i'm luton and we are not able to find out either.
sadly for the most suspected reason which infuriates me

this is our 3rd with our 2 dd's we paid private but we cant afford to this time so suprise it is lol

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