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How do I find my baby’s sex?

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
This diagnostic test is usually performed between 8 and 11 weeks gestation, sometimes as late as 13 weeks. This is generally a test for people who have a high risk of genetic abnormalities. Test results are available within 7 to 14 days. Miscarriage rate from CVS is about 4%, recent studies indicate that if the CVS is done before 10 weeks gestation there is an added risk (.5% to 1.7%) of limb deformity, and about 3% CVS is associated with serious decline in amniotic fluid protection.

There is a greater incidence of false positives because of the differences between the cellular genetic material of the choirionic villi and the fetus. There is a small chance that the sex they determine is wrong as well.

Amniocentesis
This diagnostic test is performed as early as 9 weeks and for diagnostic purposes, 18 weeks gestation. There is a risk of 1–1.5% miscarriage and 1% chance of other pregnancy complications (infection, premature labor, injury to the fetus, cord, or placenta, rupture of membranes, etc.). The tests take about 2–4 weeks to run. There is a small chance that the sex they tell you is incorrect.

Ultrasound
While ultrasound can be performed at any stage of pregnancy for the purpose of finding out the sex it is best done between 18 and 26 weeks. Most care providers will not give an ultrasound for the specific purpose of finding out the sex, and the American College of OB/GYNs has issued a statement against routine ultrasound exposure during pregnancy. However, most physicians do not heed this warning. Adequate studies on ultrasound safety have not been done, but we do know that ultrasound exposure can change the way the cell reproduces and moves. There have also been studies indicating that ultrasound heats up the cells. This method is the most frequent for finding out the sex of a baby, however, it is the least accurate. Accuracy depends on several factors: baby’s cooperation, gestational age, technician’s ability, etc.

There are many decisions to be made and everyone has their “Reasons” for whichever way they choose. I will try and list a few:
Reasons to find out the Baby’s Sex Reasons to Wait

What are some reasons that would mean I would need a cesarean?

Prolapsed cord (where the cord comes down before the baby), Placenta Abruptio (where the placenta separates before the birth), Placenta Previa (where the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix), Fetal Malpresentation (transverse lie, breech (breech can sometimes be managed by External Version, exercises or a vaginal breech birth), or Asynclitic Position), Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD, meaning that the head is too large to fit through the pelvis.

This can also be over diagnosed, it can be caused by maternal positioning either from restraint to bed, lack of mobility or anesthetics.), Maternal medical conditions (active herpes lesion, severe hypertension, diabetes, etc. (please note that these conditions do not ALWAYS mean a cesarean.), Fetal Distress (This is a hot topic with the recent studies indicating that continuous electronic fetal monitoring increases the cesarean rate and does not show a relative increase in better outcomes. Discuss with your care provider how they define fetal distress and what steps are used to remedy the situation before a cesarean.), Maternal Exhaustion, and Repeat Cesarean, these are the main reasons for cesareans.

What type of pain relief is offered before and after a cesarean?

If you have not already had a epidural or spinal anesthesia for labor, or this is a scheduled cesarean, and not an emergency cesarean, you will most likely be given a regional anesthetic (epidural or spinal). If there is a reason that you can’t get regional anesthesia or it is an emergency you will be given a general anesthetic. You may be offered or want to watch for someone giving you a pre–operative sedative. If you are not particularly nervous about the cesarean, you may want to forego this medication. It can reach the baby and make it harder to start the baby breathing after a narcotic (usually), and it can make you groggy and unaware during the birth. After the birth your regional anesthesia will help you be pain free for a few hours, after which you will be prescribed some other type of pain medication (narcotic or otherwise).

What is the procedure for a cesarean?

Some of these may go in a different order, and a few left out, but these are the basics: You will be moved to the Recovery Room (If the baby is able she/he can go with you.)