Gender disappointment is normal

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Experts say that mothers who have gender preference are not bad and ungrateful. The heartbreak that they feel is real.

A woman in the US was so depressed when she found out that her third child was a boy, not a girl that she had been hoping for. She couldn’t even say the word “boy”. She spent hours crying after learning the gender of her third child.

When we hear stories of mothers who are disappointed with the gender of their children, we often feel that they are very ungrateful. We think that  a good mother should just be happy whether her child is a boy or a girl. We sometimes look at them condescendingly and shake our heads. But experts say that gender disappointment is normal.

The heartbreak that parents feel when they don’t get the child that they want is real. Experts want people to know that just because a mother has a gender preference doesn’t mean that she’s ungrateful or bad.

“I desperately wanted a baby boy as I already had an adopted baby girl as my first child,” shares one such Singaporean mum, Su Ling Pereirra, an accountant. “When I found out that my next child was going to be another girl, I sank into terrible depression and even contemplated terminating the pregnancy. I didn’t want any competition between my adopted girl and my biological girl. Fortunately, my husband talked me out of it and over time my sense of disappointment lessened. Now I am the proud happy mum of two very beautiful young girls.”

Katherine Asbery, a clinical psychologist, said that gender disappointment is a normal process that people go through when they see their plans altered. They just have to learn to make new plans.

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