14/08/2014 16:49 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Finding Out Baby's Sex Before Birth Helps Dads Bond Better

Dads find it easier to bond if they know baby's sex before birth

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found that dads-to-be who know the sex of their unborn baby find it easier to bond with them once they are born.

The study also found that dads who give their unborn child a name also find it easier to form a relationship with the baby after birth.

The scientists behind the research claim that this is because men can better imagine unborn babies as real people they could be a father to if they know if they are a boy or a girl, and if they have a name.

The researchers also found that dads connect more with their babies if they accompany the mum to her antenatal scans.

The study examined the responses of 11 (!!) men aged from 22 to 58 over the course of their partner's pregnancy, from the first scan to eight weeks after the birth of their baby.

The scientists wanted to discover if some men's understanding of what it means to be a good man could act as a barrier to getting involved in antenatal or postnatal care. They found, however, that a 'manly' attitude to childcare does not necessarily mean the dad-to-be lacks commitment to fatherhood.

The study showed that attending ultrasound scans helped to make the pregnancy more real for many men, but that 'emotional connection' came with finding out the sex and naming the unborn child.

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