I Wanted a Girl…… How to Deal with Gender Disappointment

Jul 31, 2019


Welcome to the transformative journey of dealing with gender disappointment. Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, is here to guide you through this complex and sensitive topic. While it's perfectly normal to have a preference for a specific gender during pregnancy, it's essential to understand how to navigate the emotional rollercoaster if your expectations aren't met. This comprehensive guide offers valuable insights, coping strategies, and expert advice to help you embrace and celebrate the unique journey of parenthood.

Understanding Gender Disappointment

Gender disappointment is a term used to describe the emotional response some individuals experience when the sex of their unborn child doesn't align with their desired or expected outcome. It's essential to acknowledge that these feelings are valid, and many parents have gone through similar experiences.

Factors Influencing Gender Disappointment

Various factors can contribute to the intensity of gender disappointment. Personal desires, cultural expectations, family dynamics, and social influences all play a role in shaping our expectations regarding a child's gender. It's important to remember that each person's experience with gender disappointment is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with these feelings.

The Importance of Emotional Well-being

Your emotional well-being during this time is crucial, as it directly impacts your overall experience throughout pregnancy and early parenthood. Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, emphasizes the significance of prioritizing self-care and seeking support to navigate the complexities of gender disappointment successfully.

Coping Strategies

When faced with gender disappointment, finding healthy and effective coping strategies can make a significant difference in your emotional well-being. Here are some strategies recommended by Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, to help you navigate this challenging time:

1. Acknowledge and Accept Your Feelings

Recognize and accept your feelings of disappointment, sadness, or even anger. It's important to acknowledge that these emotions are valid and should not be dismissed or ignored.

2. Communicate Openly with Your Partner

Openly discuss your emotions with your partner and create a safe and supportive environment that fosters open communication. Sharing your thoughts and concerns can strengthen your bond and provide mutual support.

3. Seek Professional Support

Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, strongly recommends seeking professional counseling or therapy to help navigate the complexities of gender disappointment. A trained mental health professional can provide guidance, facilitate open discussions, and help develop effective coping mechanisms.

4. Educate Yourself

Take the time to educate yourself about the causes and impacts of gender disappointment. Understanding the underlying factors can help you gain perspective and develop empathy for your own experiences and those of others.

5. Focus on the Bond and Connection

Shift your focus towards the bond and connection you'll develop with your child, regardless of their gender. Embrace the unique qualities and experiences that parenthood brings, and aim for a loving, nurturing environment.

6. Seek Support from Other Parents

Connect with other parents who have experienced gender disappointment. Sharing your stories and hearing other perspectives can provide solace, reassurance, and a sense of community during this challenging time.


Gender disappointment is a complex and sensitive topic, and it's crucial to approach it with compassion and understanding. Susan H Dowell, LCSW, BCD, is dedicated to supporting individuals through this journey of self-discovery and emotional healing. By acknowledging your feelings, seeking professional support, and embracing the unique joy of parenthood, you can navigate gender disappointment and emerge as a confident and empowered parent. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a loving and nurturing environment for your child, regardless of their gender.