My OB said I should have a 16 week ultrasound, but that sounded odd to me. He didn't see anything wrong at the nuchal translucency screening, and my midwife said it didn't seem necessary to her. I've had 5 already (!), three of which happened because I had a lot of bleeding at 5 weeks. I sort of wonder if the OB isn't just doing it to bill for it... I do want to see the baby though, and I'm about to go to rural Mexico for 3 weeks for work, so it might put my mind at ease. I feel like there's no harm in it, but I also think I shouldn't do unnecessary procedures just because I really want another look at the little dude! Thoughts?
16 Week Ultrasound?
You know, there's a full-scope anatomy scan that most practitioners recommend that happens between 16 and 20 weeks. Usually, they schedule it for 18 to 20 weeks IME.
It's to scan for heart, cord, brain, spine, and intestinal and other birth defects that you won't necessarily notice from "is the baby still there" scans, etc. The person doing the anatomy scan usually has more training in doing it than your average OB or ultrasound tech. There's a lot of really good information that can be gained from it.
So, I mean, if that's what he's talking to, then I'd definitely do it. If he's talking about a 16 week and THEN a 20 week anatomy scan, I'd just do one or the other.
I wouldn't do it at all, but I'm REALLY low intervention and hadn't planned on any U/S this pregnancy....I'm like you though, I had terrible bleeding and we had to get to the bottom of it. I've had four U/S this time because of that...my last two pg's I had one each. So, I'm way over my limit this time!
I'd wait to have one at 20 weeks. IME, 16 weeks is really still a little early for an anatomy scan. You'll be okay, mama....you just had one, wait another month and have the full scan!
Yeah, he wants to do one at 16 weeks and one at 20! (I'm 15 weeks now). It seems excessive... I think I'll just wait for 20. I'd expected a pretty different experience - I see a midwife but I keep ending up at a doctor and getting furious at him for not being clear with me.
Thanks for the advice!
My care provider is a home birth midwife. I wanted the NT scan due to my age (41) and was referred to a perinatal center that specializes in ultrasound and amnio, etc. I had the NT scan and similar to you - I wasn't told there were any concerns with the results, but due to my age, they want me to come back at 15-16 weeks to look at more possible markers and again at 20 weeks to get a better look at the heart. My midwife said the perinatal folks will keep offering the ultrasounds every four weeks or so, even into the third trimester, so she suggested that I can "get off the train" if I'm feeling good about things after the 20 week u/s. This is my fourth child, and for my previous 3, I only had one u/s around 18-20 weeks.
I debated a 16w ultrasound because I've been struggling with folate deficiency and the prenatal diagnostics folks like to look for spina bifida/neural tube defects around 16w. I decided to just wait for the anatomy scan at 20-22w or so. I'll probably do the AFP bloodwork this week, just in case.
I find ultrasounds very uncomfortable and ache for days afterwards from all the prodding. And the gel makes my skin very unhappy. Plus, I'm just not that convinced I need the extra in depth screen.
i would wait for the 20 week, both seems quite excessive. but that's just me and i won't be getting the 20 week at all. i had one for dating because my last period was a miscarriage and my cycles were wacky. even that i feel was unnecessary and wouldn't do again (my estimated date was right, within 3 days, of course) but my midwife really wanted the info and since it was a quick, non 3D scan, i feel it was fine and it gave me three extra days for a home birth should i go post dates. here, she has to transfer my care to a doctor if i go past 42 weeks.
before seeing my midwife, i researched a lot into ultrasounds and their possible effects and you might want to do the same if you haven't already. the consensus seems to be (even among ultrasound advocates) that any unnecessary exposure (like gender scans or for anything other than real diagnostic information) is not recommended. the only studies that have been done on ultrasound exposure to fetuses were quite some time ago, before the much higher intensity waves they often use today. visiting those 3D ultrasound places that seems to be all the rage is very strongly discouraged by Canadian health authorities. i don't know about the states.
anyway, if you don't think the superfluous scan is really warranted, don't bother :)
AliceLand, here is something from Midwifery today: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasound.asp
I'm sure this will sound like a mountain compared to some but with my youngest son, B, I have maybe 28 ultrasounds, yes I said 28. I had to have a BPP (biophysical profile) twice a week. With my youngest daughter, L, I had maybe 20 ultrasounds but she was born at 33w. They were all necessary, my 4th child was still born at 38w, a fully developed 7 pound child and subsequent births need to be monitored closely. Not one time has anyone ever suggested that the ultrasounds might do harm or that we should wait for less exposure. I also saw a Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr each time I had the US done and they are the ones who literally write the text books here. They are at UNC Chapel Hill teaching hospital. I do realize there is debate but I just don't think it's as bad as some want to make it out to be. JMO though, take it with a grain of salt.