If you are a woman, one of the most exciting times in your life is when you are pregnant and anticipating the birth of your first child. You may fantasize about your baby, eager for the birth so that you can finally hold and care for your child. Unfortunately, there are several companies that tap into this joy and attempt to profit from it. (I should know because I spent money on each one and regretted two of three of them!)
While you may want to know as much about your baby as possible and feel as close to him or her before the baby is born, save yourself money by avoiding these gimmicks that likely aren’t worth your cold, hard cash:
Intelligender: Early Gender Test – This test says it will tell you the gender of your baby as early as 10 weeks, which is 10 weeks earlier than your 20 week ultrasound where you typically discover the baby’s sex. I must confess, I fell for this not once, but twice and used it with my last two children. And guess what? Both times it said my girls were going to be boys. If you want to spend nearly $30 on this kit, go ahead for a bit of fun, but even though the site says it has a 90% accuracy rating, in my experience, it was a 0% accuracy rating.
Prenatal Listening System – This system has you tie a monitor on your stomach so you can presumably listen to your baby’s heartbeat in utero. I bought one of these with my first child and never heard anything more than my own heartbeat! As it turns out, if your baby is turned so his back is against the wall of your stomach, you will not be able to hear anything; even my doctor sometimes had trouble finding his heartbeat. I sold this and didn’t even try with my last two children.
3D/4D Ultrasounds – Most moms and dads know the frustration of looking at a typical ultrasound and just taking a guess at what your child looks like. However, a 3D/4D ultrasound fills out your baby’s features and lets you see them in detail. Of the three things I say you can avoid in pregnancy, this is the one that I would say might be worth spending money on if you have the extra cash. These ultrasounds are done ideally between 28 and 32 weeks and can run from $125 to $250 depending what services you get. I got one of these with each of my children, and it did make me feel closer to them because I could get a good idea what they looked like. I saw my son sucking his thumb, which he did often after he was born, and I saw that my first daughter had a full head of hair. I saw my second daughter yawn, stretch and play with her toes.
Impending motherhood is an exciting time, but sometimes the best thing to do to save money and frustration is just to sit back and enjoy your pregnancy. Soon, you will be holding your new baby in your arms and won’t need devices to make you feel closer to your baby.