18/11/2009 22:25 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Parents Disappointed At Baby's Gender Are Not Wrong

There are some parents who have their heart set on having a baby boy or a girl and when it turns they're not, it can lead to feelings of disappointment and guilt.

According to an expert, parents who experience these feelings are not wrong and neither are they ungrateful. It also doesn't mean they don't want the baby.

A lot of parents opt to find out the sex of their unborn baby at the 20-week scan which, if they have their heart set on a boy or girl, may buy them time to get used to having a baby of the opposite sex.

Psychiatric nurse Joyce Venis of Princeton, New Jersey, works with parents who have been disappointed when they have discovered their baby's gender.

She recently told MSNBC their feelings are often dismissed or not discussed because the parents are worried they will appear ungrateful. She urged parents to seek help if their disappointment led to depression.

They were not wrong to want a particular sex and it did not mean they did not want the baby they did have, she added. "They have the right to want the certain sex," she said.

Of course, in some cultures gender disappointment can lead to far bigger problems and have more severe repercussions for children of the 'wrong' sex.

In China, where the government has a one child only policy, families prefer boys which has led to newborn girls being abandoned.

I was lucky because I really didn't mind whether I had boys or girls but if you have your heart set on a specific gender the emotions probably become very mixed if the reality doesn't match up. It is not something that I really understand though.

However, I always thought it was a bit worrying when parents did have the baby they set their hearts on; after all if they were desperate for a little girl wouldn't they be disappointed if she turned out to be a tomboy?

Were you desperate for a boy or a girl? How did you cope if you had the opposite?

Source (ParentDish US)