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Synographer very pushy - advice needed

52 replies

MumBeth · 25/01/2017 14:40


Recently had my dating scan. At it the Synographer was very opinionated about me wanting to find out the sex at the 20 week scan. He told me I would not be doing myself or the baby any good in finding out and I'm only going to be a selfish mother by wanting to find out. His reasons for having this opinion were that back in university (probably about 35 years ago judging his age) his research piece was about which mothers bonded better with their new borns; those who found out the sex prior or after birth? He told me that I wouldn't bond with my baby anywhere near as well as someone who waited.

Now I have a few concerns here.

  1. isn't this completely unprofessional? He turned a magical moment of the dating scan into a scary lecture.
  2. other research I have been reading states the opposite of his claims, does anyone else agree with this in their experience?
  3. Now I'm worried the Synographer at my 20 week scan might just lie about not being able to tell the sex.

    Things get a little further complicated when I point out the Synographer's assistant is my mother in law. I love her to pieces, she is a wonderful woman but I'm wondering if this is where she gets the viewpoint of how bad I am for wanting to know the gender. Her and the Synographer are really good friends too πŸ˜•

    Any advice or reassurance please?

    (FYI just want to know the sex as it feels odd calling the baby it or other non personifying terms, not bothered about gender either way really.)
OP posts:
Whatsername17 · 25/01/2017 16:21

You can switch hospitals at any point. Talk to your midwife.

Somevampsarehot · 25/01/2017 16:34

You are definitely nbu. It's entirely up to you and your partner if you want to find out the sex, and I would request a different sonographer if that is an option. I would complain too, but I understand why you would be worried too. I found out with both of mine. We made out it was for practical reasons, which it partly was, but it was also because we just really wanted to know. In all honesty I don't think it's much of a surprise anyway, it's either going to be a girl or a boy!

Hollyhop17 · 25/01/2017 16:55

I'm really sorry that happened to you, that is awful. I am 15 weeks and intending on finding out. I think it will personally help with bonding. We dont care what it is and already have our names for both but it means I can start talking to them, decorating the nursery with them in mind etc.

I agree with others that you should complain and definitely make sure you see someone else.

Best of luck.

donteverlookback · 25/01/2017 16:59

Some people think that knowing the gender may make a person seek a termination or come under pressure to do so.

Sparklyuggs · 25/01/2017 17:04

That's a horrid thing to say, and untrue. I can sympathise a tiny little bit with the NHS as it is meant to be an anomaly scan rather than a gender scan so can see why they don't want to spend ages scanning if the baby is in the wrong position for a gender reveal but for 99% of people it's an extra minute scanning and it's such a special moment for the parents.

I would tell your midwife team if you feel able or PALS, making you feel upset is unacceptable.

Janey50 · 25/01/2017 17:09

I think he is being totally unprofessional. It's YOUR baby,and if you wish to know the sex in advance,he should respect that. Regarding the previous comments about scans not being available 35 years ago,I had a pregnancy scan 34 years ago (January 1983) when I was expecting my DD. They were in their infancy then,and could not usually tell what sex it was,although some of the women attending my antenatal class had had scans at a hospital with a more high-tech scanner and had been able to find out. I was well jealous.

Libbylove2015 · 25/01/2017 17:34

What a tosser - how dare he impose his opinions on other people? His crappy homework from four decades ago is totally irrelevant to you.

I would complain anonymously, if you don't want to make life awkward for your MIL.

I am only 13+4 but we paid for the Harmony test (as the 12 week NHS scan was a fail as the baby wouldn't lie in the right position) and I am dying to know the sex. I want time to get used to the idea of whatever it is and it is up to you and your partner to decide.

savagehk · 25/01/2017 18:22

I've not heard about bonding but have been told (not backed up by evidence that i know of!) that if you don't know labour goes a bit faster.

MouseLove · 25/01/2017 18:45

That's completely unprofessional. To be honest he probably was very chatty to you because of your MIL. Maybe next time do not tolerate any chat about that.

"Sorry I would really appreciate if you didn't give us your opinion on such a personal decision. We have decided to find out the gender of our baby and that's that."

While I personally love surprises and won't be finding out (or having any 3D scans) I do think it's a very personal choice that everyone is entitled to make.

He was kinda right about the studies though. Mothers who find out the sex before can have a pre-conception of how baby will be, look and act and associate it with a name. That can lead to longer bond time. & Apparently labour on average is longer and has more intervention with mums who know their babies gender than those that don't.
Wether that makes any difference is probably very minor from person to person.

The old fashion POV of waiting (usually our mums age who didn't have access to scans or gender scans) is it prepares you for parenthood and strengthens your patience. Of course technology has changed now so if you want to use it, use it! It's a wonderful thing choice.

NataliaOsipova · 25/01/2017 18:52

Sorry I would really appreciate if you didn't give us your opinion on such a personal decision. We have decided to find out the gender of our baby and that's that.

Absolutely right. YANBU at all. I had the sonographer do the "Awwwww - are you sure you want to know?" bit with me, to which I replied, pretty tersely, "Quite sure, thank you - please tell me." It is a personal decision and the HCP should respect that.

haveacupoftea · 25/01/2017 19:15

The sonographer at my 20 week scan didnt tell us the sex, she didnt even ask if we wanted to know. Luckily I had booked a private scan at 18 weeks and already know i'm having a boy Grin

AmeliaJack · 25/01/2017 19:45

haveacup some hospitals have a policy of not telling parents. It might not have been an option for the sonographer.

LondonGirl83 · 25/01/2017 21:12

Totally unprofessional and deserving of a formal complaint.

Where I live everyone finds out what they are having.

An older women who is in the same gym class as me told me she didn't know how she felt about me knowing the sex of my baby.... I wanted to say, you shouldn't feel anything about it as you are a bloody stranger! Some people are off the charts odd about other people's personal decisions

raviolidreaming · 25/01/2017 21:19

Do you have any sources, mouselove? That all sounds a bit like old wives tales.

BingThing · 25/01/2017 22:13

In my personal experience I found I bonded better during pg when I found out the sex but it made no difference what so ever when they arrived! I think it's good to experience both finding out and not - i didnt find out with ds1, knew with ds2 and not found out with dc3. I wouldn't say i regret not finding out this time but definitely dont feel as bonded during pg but i know wont matter when they are here! I'm sure everyone knows the priority is that baby is ok but finding out the gender makes no difference to the importance we all place on that. If your hosp policy is to offer to tell you gender then do it, don't pay for private scan and dont feel the need to justify your decision to anyone. Plus gender neutral clothes are utterly shite at the moment so you can have a good old pink or blue shopping spree when you find out ha!!! X

jcne · 25/01/2017 22:45

Wtf! I would complain and ask to see someone else, both sonographer and asst! V v not on 😑😑

MouseLove · 25/01/2017 22:47

Rav I don't remember exactly where. It's just something I remember reading when my godson was arriving (he's 11 now) and his mum too and fro'd about knowing - she found out. I'm sure a google will bring up supporting and defunking it. Personally, I couldn't give a monkeys what people choose to do. If there's a choice, make it for your own reasons.

raviolidreaming · 25/01/2017 22:52

I'm all for individual but informed choices and those are some big claims that, if evidence-based, might impact on someone's decision. I certainly might have made a different decision! I'll have a proper Google tomorrow Smile

harleysmammy · 25/01/2017 22:56

My grandmother literally looked at me like i'd just shot her when i told her i was finding out the sex of my son. She didnt shut up about it for weeks and i found out at 18 weeks. Im now 26 weeks and she still hasnt shut up about it. Because back when she had my dad and his brothers they couldnt find out the sex, she thinks everyone should wait and enjoy the surprise. Im 100% sure she is stuck in the 1960's, its not easy either because my dad is very close with my nan and because i live at home i see my nan practically every day so when im with her, i cant buy any clothes or say "him". She calls him "it" which boils my blood beyond belief. The whole "you bond better if you dont know the sex" is absolute rubbish, my mother knew i was going to be a girl and i havent spoken to her in years. My dad didnt know i was going to be a girl and im THE biggest daddies girl alive. My nan didnt know my dad or his brothers were going to be boys and only my dad out of the three of them is actually that close with her. If you want to find out the sex, find out. If people dont wanna know then dont tell them, but its your baby. I personally would have gone crazy on the sonographer, that isnt fair at all and his opinion isnt even correct. Even if it was, medical professionals arent allowed to voice their opinions in that way. If it was yours or the babys wellbeing then it would be acceptable for him to voice his view, but it has nothing to do with him. Thats like a midwife saying she doesnt like the name you picked and trying to change your mind. I think we need to realize they are our babies no one else's and its our choice! X

Wotshudwehave4T · 25/01/2017 22:56

Rubbish- found out, named, spoke to them by name every day, halted the start of the csection until they decided which was coming first so they weren't mixed up. Complain or if you get him again tell him to keep opinions to himself.

MumBeth · 26/01/2017 09:29

Thank you everyone!

I've done a bit of reading and in 99% of what I can find it says there is no proof either way and ultimately it's up to the mother as to what she thinks will help her as it's all different for everyone. I will be printing these off to take with my to the 20 week scan just in case it gets heated.

I am going to wait until the 20 week scan before I decide to put in a complaint. As someone said previously, maybe he was just being chatty because my MIL was there? I'll give him a second chance.

If I don't find out I will go private. The baby's grandparents really would like to start knitting the baby some clothes! And I want to start thinking names 😊

Thanks again x

OP posts:
NataliaOsipova · 26/01/2017 09:52

Because back when she had my dad and his brothers they couldnt find out the sex, she thinks everyone should wait and enjoy the surprise

I really don't understand this point of view at all - as then they didn't have scans at all, so not only did you not know the sex of the baby, you also didn't know if the baby had any abnormalities/health conditions. The technology simply wasn't available. Given it is now available and regarded (by most) as a good thing, what's the problem with knowing that one specific piece of information as opposed to all the others? And, given that (likely as not) the sonographer on the day will be able to see for him/herself what sex your baby is, why is it a problem that someone doesn't want that to be kept from them? Why adopt a "tell me everything but arbitrarily keep this one thing a secret" stance? Mind you, I don't get the "surprise" point either - it's one or the other and it doesn't alter which at the point at which you are told.

arbrighton · 26/01/2017 10:21

Sorry, I think you should complain NOW OP while the details are fresh.

It was unprofessional full stop. Whether your MIL was present as assistant or not.

However you do need to check hospital policy re finding out sex too. I'm sure you'd be able to request that MIL wasn't the assistant or not to have that sonographer again but you'd need to explain why.

Brolis · 26/01/2017 10:32

Op, you should not have to argue for what you want, or have to take evidence to support your decision. Your baby, your decision. I say this as someone who chose not to find out my baby's sex during either of my pregnancies.

I hope your 20 week scan goes well, and you and your baby are healthy and happy.

paddypants13 · 26/01/2017 11:23

I would complain. I could understand him explaining if the hospital had a policy of not telling any expectant mum the baby's sex but otherwise he should keep his opinion to himself. Don't feel bad about your mil, you're not making a complaint about her. I would imagine the complaints are anonymous as well so simply don't say anything.

Fwiw I bonded much better with ds who I knew was a boy than I did with dd. However, there were other factors at play such as an "easy" birth with ds, the fact that he was my second so I had some idea what I was doing and the lack of issues surrounding breast feeding.

Do you have an option to have a private scan to find out the sex but keep it between you and your dp? We kept ds's sex to ourselves.

Flowers Congratulations on your pregnancy op.

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