Edited by Morgan Mareglia - 4/11/13 at 11:25am
Normally it would seem fine to me to opt out if you have no particular health concerns for you or the baby. One thing it might be useful for in terms of your VBAC is to see where the placenta is. Having a c-section is a risk factor for placenta previa in future pregnancies.
I had a couple of ultrasounds in my first pregnancy, and didn't like them at all. Since then, I've skipped them. Ultrasounds give you more information, but it's not always reliable information, and then you have to decide what to do with it.
My friend didn't get any utlrasounds and while it made our doctor (we shared the same family practice doctor) nervous, our doc also admitted that there's no indicating that routine ultrasounds increase health outcomes. In your case, the previa issue might be a consideration, as the PP said.
I got more u/s than I wanted to in my first pregnancy, but I'll still get at least the 20 week scan next time because I'd like to be able to prepare for a disabled child if necessary. But for most women, there's no real need for routine ultrasounds unless something else is indicating a problem (measuring small, bleeding, etc.).
It's on my mind because they found placenta previa at my 20-week ultrasound. There is a 90% chance it will move out of the way, but I won't be checked again until about 29 weeks. I haven't had any problems, and it doesn't affect the baby, but it did give me something to think about.
I'm going for a vbac too (33 weeks now), and haven't had any ultrasounds this pregnancy. My midwife said she could determine placental position by listening to the sounds on the doppler itself - she located the placenta on top of my uterus, and also listened all over the scar to make sure there were no placental sounds near it.
Had the usual amount of ultrasounds with my first, who ended up cesarean. Had only 2 u/s the second time, once to establish pregnancy was not tubal, and once to adjust dates and find out gender, but then I walked out of the OB's office and hired a homebirth midwife at 30 weeks due to pressure she was suddenly giving me about interventions she had been fine with me not wanting, prior to that, and I had him at home.
Next child was also born at home, and had no ultrasounds at all. He had a true knot in the cord, which is or is not an obstetric emergency depending on whom you ask, but I would still have wanted to birth naturally and at home if I had known about the knot, and all having an u/s would have done, had it revealed that, would have been to make me nervous and give me more what-if mentality than is healthy.
This time, I still don't plan on having any medically unnecessary ultrasounds.
Of course, I'd do it if I needed to rule out placenta previa in later pregnancy (in early pregnancy, what seems like previa, will change as the pregnancy progresses, so no sense in checking for it early) due to a midwife's concern on feeling or hearing something that would prompt her to ask about an ultrasound, but not otherwise. <3 to you!
I edited this to make it a lot shorter, and because I was all over the place Off Topic due to hormones and the need to ramble.
I had mixed feelings about u/s with my first pregnancy, but I'm all for it this time around. I've read enough to feel comfortable with them. The risks are all theoretical from what I understand, and so I'm not dismissing risk completely, but I feel that it is so negligible that the benefit by far outweighs any possible risk.
Personally speaking, I've had a ton of u/s with this pregnancy because of my hypertension. I'm fine with that, but recently u/s showed that baby was breech. I never would have know, had I not had u/s. I'm 37 weeks- I totally would not have expected breech at this point! But knowing that she was breech gave me a serious opportunity to process my emotions. I would not have had that chance if I went into labor not knowing she was breech, you know? It gave me time to seek out some positive feedback about c sections and get my mind around the possibility of having one. And knowing she was breech led me to an awesome chiro who made me feel a ton better (both physically and emotionally!) All good outcomes...
So I think its better to know than not know, especially if you are planning a vbac....
Ultrasounds are not healthy at all. I had a Ultrasound done for the Anatomy at 20 something weeks with my 3rd and only one. I found out the sex and all. With my first two i had a bunch of Ultrasounds because i didnt know better. I will get a Ultrasound done again with my 4th (pregnant now) but not until 25 weeks.