Why do people get upset when you don't want to know the gender of your unborn baby?

Keeping those pesky questions at bay. (Instagram)
Keeping those pesky questions at bay. (Instagram)

Since the day they announced their plans to wed, the eyes of the world have been firmly planted on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Who could blame us? The two are too adorable for words and their love is so evident, looking away is near impossible – Meghan did snag the title of Most Googled Person in the World in 2018, after all. 

Just like all royal babies before, a more-than-is-necessary amount of attention has been directed at the Sussex baby, and besides Meghan's maternity wardrobe and how many rules she's been breaking, the gender of the unborn child has taken centre stage. 

Meghan and Harry have made it no secret that they intend to keep their baby's gender a surprise, just like William and Kate did with each one of Kate's pregnancies

"We decided to keep it a secret," replied Meghan when asked about her baby's gender at the recently held Endeavor Fund Awards. 

Also see: Can pregnancy symptoms really predict the sex of your baby?

Also see: PSA: Keep your unsolicited baby safety advice – we don't need to be worried about covering plug points at 33 weeks pregnant

How did you approach the gender question when you were expecting? What's the worst reaction you got? Tell us, and we could publish your story. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous. 

They're not the only ones

Deciding to keep the gender of their baby a secret isn't exactly a specifically royal thing to do and after reading one mom-to-be's online confession, we're wondering if Meghan and Harry have been experiencing yet another branch of unsolicited pregnancy advice. 

"Anyone else feel like other people are weird about finding out baby’s gender?" Asked the expectant mom via the online forum r/BabyBumps, sharing that, in her 14 weeks of pregnancy, she's been bombarded by friends and family with requests to find out whether she'll be having a boy or girl. 

"I knew from my friends that I would be hearing A LOT of unsolicited opinions on all subjects. What’s surprising me though is how many people think I MUST find out the gender. I think it’s great to find out if that’s what you want, but I don’t feel like I need to know if this bump is a boy or a girl. Some days it doesn’t matter to me because I’m just happy to be pregnant. Other days, I’m too nauseated to care... 
"I figure if it comes up in a future ultrasound or my midwife slips and says something, fine, but I’m not asking and we’ve told her not to tell us. I never thought it would be a big deal, but most of the people I have talked to have acted like I’m weird for not finding out. My [mother in law] is dying to know, and my coworkers have told me that I have to find out. When I tell people that I don’t plan to find out, lots of them act almost offended at the idea. Do I just have weird coworkers or is anyone else experiencing this?" 

From the number of responses the post received, it seems to be both super common and super annoying. 

"Yes! Same! Here's what I usually do to irritate them more"

"I actually am not that concerned with my kid's genitals I just want a healthy baby"

"I've loved responding to those people with 'honestly I hope it's a cat'"

"Our first was a girl and we literally had people asking my husband if he was disappointed"

"Why ruin it?"

"So entertaining how invested even random strangers were"

"Is gender actually the only interesting thing about a new baby?"

"I wanted to find out for various reasons, mainly because I can't stand secrets"

"My mum insists we shouldn't find out the gender"

"Why would you need to prepare yourself for the gender of MY baby?"

"It’s like legit none of your business anyway and what difference does it make?"

The list goes on and on, mostly with similar stories. So, if you're waiting for your 12-week scan and wondering whether or not knowing your baby's gender is a good idea, you've been warned. 

To the family, friends and co-workers of expectant parents, seems like it's best to just stick to the basic 'how are you feeling?' to avoid trouble. 

Chat back:

How did you approach the gender question when you were expecting? What's the worst reaction you got? Tell us, and we could publish your story. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous. 

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1533 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 6537 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
38% - 5178 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 497 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.