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Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Ultrasound just to date the pregnancy?

Ultrasound just to date the pregnancy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Is it normal to get an ultrasound in the first 8 weeks to 'date' the pregnancy with higher accuracy than by going by LMP?

How many ultrasounds do you plan on getting?

Anyone here holding back on how many ultrasounds they'll get and opting for fewer in depth monitoring interventions in general?  If so, why?

I'm so tempted to get an ultrsound to date my preg. since I'm not positive my last LMP was a real period (but 95% sure it was, there was clots coming out, and a real flow for at least two full days--but then again it wasn't fresh red colored, more dark and old looking so I'm confused---maybe I miscarried a zygote exactly on the week I would have had a menstrual cycle).  But then I think about whether it's really necessary and start weighing the possible risks with getting unnecessary ultrsounds just for curiosity's sake, etc.....  I'm undecided.

post #2 of 16

Most OB practices have the standard of a first trimester ultrasound, for pregnancy dating and to rule out ectopic/multiples.  It's accurate for dating within 2-3 days, if done within the first trimester. 


I will be getting concurrent care from a midwife and from an OB practice, and planning my second home birth.  I will not be having a first trimester ultrasound.  I'm rock-solid on my dates, and chart my cycle/temp religiously, so know my ovulation day and am confident on my "due date" already.  I'm not worried about an ectopic, and figure it would declare itself anyway.  If you're concerned about your dates and are getting care from an MD, they'll likely push for a first trimester ultrasound.  As with anything, you can decline or accept any interventions/procedures that are recommended to you by a provider. 


I do plan to have an anatomy scan around the 18-20 week mark, at which point multiples would become obvious.  For dating purposes, a second-trimester ultrasound is less accurate (within 7-10 days).  Because I'm planning a home birth in a very small community, I'd like to know if there's an anatomy issue that would make hospital birth a better choice for babe's well-being (e.g. a heart defect that would need immediate supportive care).  I'd rather know about that ahead of time for care planning, and birth in a hospital in that case, so as not to be separated in some sort of urgent transfer.   For me, the benefits of a second trimester ultrasound outweigh the risks.  That will be the only ultrasound I'd accept, unless there were problems with the pregnancy that necessitated more surveillance. 

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

In this country OBs are not involved with pregnancy at all.  There are two ultrasounds, one at the beginning of the second trimester and one later on.  We'll have to pay hundreds each time we want to meet with a doctor at a private clinic, in the coming months.  There are no midwifery practices for prenatal care, only for homebirth.  So for the next 8 months, it's just me and the clinicians or huge bills.  

post #4 of 16

I'm confident on my dates, so I'm not interested in a dating ultrasound.


I might or might not be getting the 11-13 week NT scan  - still trying to decide on that one, but it seems likely. Other than that, I only plan on having the 16-20 week anatomy scan; and if everything looks good that's it.


As far as Doppler goes (which is also ultrasound), I'm not sure yet. We might use it till the heartbeat is audible through a fetoscope and then stop. During labor, probably only during the second stage, or transition and second stage.

post #5 of 16
We haven't quite decided on no ultrasound at all, but are leaning that way. We may do the anatomy one, but aren't sure yet, and want to discuss it with our midwife when we choose one. We won't be doing one in the first trimester for dating/viability though. I am pretty sure of my ovulation date even though I didn't chart last month. I have always run like a clock. Anything else we might learn will become apparent given a little time, and has the potential to just stress us out in the meantime.
post #6 of 16

I only get one, around 20 weeks to check for any major abnormalities. We haven't found out the gender for our first two but might find out this time. I've always been pretty sure of my dates as well so I haven't felt the need for an early u/s. If the dates were in question beyond a week, I would opt for an early u/s to nail down a date better, largely for being on the other end with possible induction or birth that seemed too early (when neither might be the case).

post #7 of 16

In both my previous pregnancies, I had OB care until around 20 weeks (nothing major, just insurance hiccups getting straightened out waiting for midwifery care)  Only in my first pregnancy did they have a transvaginal u/s for dating and to rule out ectopic pregnancies, but I suspect that's because I was on Clomid to concieve and I was complaining of pain on my left side, which ended up just being a ton of cysts on my ovary that were swelling with the hormone rush of pregnancy.


My second child, I was only vaguely aware of the conception date, but sure within 7-10 days.  They only ordered me a 18-20 week anatomy scan.


Reading all the stories about the moms on our board getting ultrasounds does make me a little misty-eyed.  I'd like some real confirmation that I am indeed pregnant and there is a reason I feel like being sick every evening.  However, I understand that most midwives only do the anatomy scan and I try to be patient.  I always struggle with patience in the first trimester!


tl;dr - I'm impatiently waiting for my one and only ultrasound, administered at 18-20 weeks for fetal/placental abnormalities.

post #8 of 16

I'm in Denmark, and most of the prenatal care under the government system is done by midwives, with a couple of visits to the GP in between. Last time we did the testing and all the ultrasounds. They gave us an extra ultrasound because we tested as high risk, 1:14, and they did an extra in-depth anatomy scan since we declined amnio. Leo turned out absolutely perfect, and all that stress was for nothing. Gotta talk to hubby about it, but I'm hoping for just the anatomy scan at 20 weeks, so we can make sure everything's ok for another homebirth. I feel very fortunate that I can make these choices and not have to weigh cost in as a factor! We've decided that any children we have will be born here.

post #9 of 16
I will most likely get the 20 week ultrasound this time. This will be my 6th baby and only with my 1st have I had one that late. With my 2nd, 3rd and 5th I had dating ultrasounds because I haven't always had a post partum af. With my 4th I opted out of any ultrasound. This time we know too many ppl that have had to transfer because of problems that could have been detected by ultrasound. So for peace of mind I'm going to ask for a 20 wk ultrasound.
post #10 of 16
No u/s or Doppler here. It was an exercise in patience last time, though I did end up getting one at 39 weeks to confirm breech position. Didn't change anything for us in terms of plan. I would only get an U/S if I lived somewhere where it was necc to preserve a home birth plan or something like that, or here if there were signs pointing to something serious, like previa.
The doc gave me a requisition for an us yesterday to check for a live baby (a concern due to spotting), and I really wanted to use it, but my anti U/S MW talked me down. It would show me nothing I wouldn't find out in a few weeks anyway.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
The more i think about it the more i realize that my christmas bleeding could not have been implantation bleeding, it was exactly when my period should have been (not early), and several days long of actual flow (albeit dark in color and not fresh red) including several noticeable clots. implantation bleeding has no clots right? So I guess the only reason I would get an ultrasound in month two would be to convince my partner that this pregnancy is real! Most frivolous reason ever and I won't do it. So tempting though because he is still skeptical that I'm pregnant.
I think I may lean towards trusting my lmp for dating purposes and try to hang tight for 4 more weeks without any appointments, as is the standard here. I have 6 weeks to decide if I want any ultrasounds at all.
Also hoping for another home birth.....
post #12 of 16

I had a U/S just before 8 weeks ot assess the pregnancy and make sure everything was going OK.  I am also getting the MaterniT21 blood test done in a few weeks.  We had a 2nd trimester loss between my boys.  She had cystic hygroma and fetal hydrops and I guess i am just so paranoid now that I need reassurance.  I usually just take the 1st trimester care from a OB and I am using the one my midwife uses for back up so only a month to go and he will do one last U/S before I go to my midwife and then I won't see him again until the 20 week U/S and then hopefully not again :)

post #13 of 16

No ultrasounds for me unless medically indicated (small for dates, large for dates, suspecting multiples, spotting/bleeding).  I've been an apprentice midwife for two years, and have seen that ultrasounds do impact the emotional process of pregnancy, even when they are "normal".  When they are abnormal, it is almost always a mistake or a misreading, and causes unnecessary stress for mama and baby.  They like us to think that scans are reliable, but they really aren't, and all randomized controlled trials have shown that routine ultrasound (as opposed to medically indicated ultrasound) has absolutely no benefit for mother or baby.  I highly recommend Dr. Sarah Buckley's work on ultrasound safety, and Sheila Kitzinger's work on the anthropological perspective on ultrasound.  Here are a few sources for those interested :)



post #14 of 16

I had an ultrasound for dates, but my cycles are extremely irregular and long, so there was a question of over three weeks as to when I conceived.  With that big of a span, I wanted to have a more accurate idea of when I was due, so we weren't worried the baby was small or large for dates.  I'm glad we did, because my former OB was going off my LMP and because of my prenatal bloodwork basically told me I was going to miscarry.  My PC doctor actually listened to me about the likelihood I was much less farther along and ordered an U/S, showing my presumed dates were much more accurate and there was a heartbeat-so obviously not a pregnancy loss.

post #15 of 16

ill be getting an u/s at around 10 weeks, and then at 20 as i just suffered a m/c at 11.5 weeks. 

post #16 of 16
Ultrasound after having a lose is very reassuring. I still worried until I could feel movement, but not nearly as much. 2 babies I personally know were just born that had major problems. Sometimes ultrasound does help you to prepare beforehand for the complications if there are any.
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