Are you all planning to have ultrasounds? I'm planning my 2nd VBAC, which for legal reasons has to be in a hospital, and so I plan to be under the care of an OB. My OB's office does routine ultrasounds at 8 weeks. I'm reading cautions against this. Even though this is my 3rd child, I'm feeling extra protective of him or her and thinking that I might delay until the 20 week fetal anatomy ultrasound. But then again, we'd have to wait that long to find out if it was twins.
We are doing the 20 week anatomical scan. We were planning on doing the 11 week nuchal transparency scan, but my midwife's office is now offering the MaterniT21 blood test, which sounds really great. It's a blood test that appears to be super accurate at detecting 3 different trisomies, and also tells you the gender. So we won't have to do the 11 week. And then I was considering going in for an early ultrasound to hear the heatbeat. I actually called the OB who is doing my shadow care, and his office doesn't start doing ultrasounds until 9 or 10 weeks, which is basically when I could hear the heartbeat on the midwife's doppler anyway, so we're going to skip that one as well. I was doing temperature charting so I'm 100% certain of my dates. So basically, we're just doing the one ultrasounds for the anatomical scan and to check placenta placement.
With my first, I did the 20 wk and got false information that harmed my pregnancy instead of helping it. From what I read it seems like receiving life-saving information from a routine US is rare, and I am at peace with waiting to know if not much can be done. (I am delivering in a hospital btw, for a HB I think I would do one.)
Vtechmom, if you felt comfortable sharing, I would be very interested to know how the ultrasound saved your friends baby. Was there a concern prior to the ultrasound, or would there have been indicative symptoms prior to the birth?
Edited by neycie - 8/16/13 at 6:58pm
If they hadn't done the U/S it's unlikely they would have noticed any issue until his kidneys had already shutdown.
Vtechmom, wow, how scary! I'm glad your friends were able to get help for their son.
I didn't get any ultrasounds my first pregnancy. I got two with my second (they couldn't get a good look at her heart the first time around). Completely unrelated to anything medical, I treasure those pictures because they are the only ones we have of her when she was still healthy. Anyhow, my midwife office doesn't do early ultrasounds although I could probably ask for one. I am doing the 20 week anatomy scan again. I'm holding my breath til we get it and hear either, "Everything looks good," or, "Your baby has this issue and here is the treatment plan." Plus, I would like to know the sex of the baby. MamaJen, I am going to ask about that blood test at my midwives' office. I think they offer that and it sounds like it would be more accurate than a NT.
I must be COMPLETELY out of the loop. I am going to spend all day tomorrow googling u/s and the effects it has. I guess I was being nieve thinking it was safe. Can someone fill me in quickly?
I have an V u/s on tuesday to see if everything is ok, because I had a miscarriage in june. Other then that I didnt plan for any others until 20 weeks to determine the sex of the baby.
Nothing is without risk, and the cynic in me says that since US is easy profit, often leads to more testing and actively managed care, has no *immediately obvious and provable* risk and is really liked by consumers, the medical world doesn't have a lot of motivation to further track it's effects.
As I would for ANY drug or procedure during pregnancy, I prefer to accept only if indicated and the benefits clearly outweigh the possible risk. I ask why having this information is necessary, how accurate it is, what will be done with it, and if it can be gained in another way. So far, with routine ultrasounds, I have not been impresssed with the answers.
ETA: it is so personal as well...I for instance, know I would not want to abort for a disability, plan to prematurely deliver an extremely sick baby, induce bc the US moved my EDD up, etc. But if you would, then the the knowledge, when accurate, can be worthwhile.
Edited by neycie - 8/19/13 at 6:17am
We UP/UC so no ultrasounds for us. I also do not believe there is enough evidence to determine that they are safe, and I see far too much evidence showing that there is a good chance they are dangerous. Doppler Danger's fb page and group are a good place to start for anyone interested in the potential risks.
I feel like the risks of ultrasounds are theoretical, but not outside the realm of possibility. My take on it is that there is the chance of real benefit from doing the 20 week anatomical scan, so we're doing that one, but we're avoiding others that don't seem necessary. That's how I feel about medical interventions in general. Many of them come with either proven or theoretical risks, which doesn't mean that you should avoid them, but it does mean that you should choose them judiciously.
I've spent a little time on baby center, and for the last couple of weeks there have been hundreds or thousands of posts from women worrying about their HGC levels rising, worried about not seeing heartbeats on super early ultrasounds, etc. Not to say that I'm not worried about this baby being sticky -- but those tests give limited benefit and cause a lot of unnecessary grief. I'm glad we're avoiding them.
My take is also similar to MamaJen's. I don't feel like we can eliminate risk, and everything is a trade off. For me, the benefits of getting an early look at baby's heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, placenta, etc are great. If my baby has a health issue, I'd like to know what the plan is, and once there's a plan, I can stop thinking about it. I don't like crisis or emergencies, and if there is a chance to avoid both, that's good. (edit - My bias being that I think decisions made with enough time to weigh options and get good information are always going to be better than hastily made decisions in a crisis. And that planned surgery is pretty much always better than emergency surgery. And a planned NICU stay is easier to prepare for than a surprise one.) For me, being able to do that, outweighs the risks of whatever harm an ultrasound could cause.
I am not one for routine early tests in pregnancy, and my midwives don't typically offer it, but I had cramping and spotting early in this pregnancy and had to get HCG levels done to make sure that the one sided cramping wasn't an early sign of a tubal pregnancy. I was surprised at how reassured I felt, not by the numbers themselves (which were not great at first), but just at the idea that someone was keeping an eye on things for me. So I can understand people wanting early tests, although if it causes more stress, maybe it's not the best thing, right?
I think what I can tell from this is that I really like to see my trouble coming if I can, and, I like to outsource my worry. lol