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Talk to me about ultrasounds - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Originally Posted by rosie2727 View Post

But I also like hospital births, medical intervention, pain meds, vaccines, circumcision, etc. so I'm sure you all think I'm cuckoo!


I don't think everyone here is on the same page about all of these different things, so don't worry about being thought of as cuckoo! I'm open to either hospital or home birth, depending on the circumstances. To me, low intervention seems better than high intervention, and scheduled c-section DOES seem pretty nuts to me, but hey, to each their own. What I think is more of a problem than someone wanting to schedule their own c-section is when the medical establishment does everything to hurry labor along (pitocin, etc) for their own convenience (so they can go home at 4, or whatever), leading to a cascade of interventions that end in unnecessary c-sections. From my perspective vaccines are ABSOLUTELY important and that people who don't vaccinate their children are doing a huge disservice not only to their children (which would be their own prerogative) but to the population -- especially to children (and adults) with compromised immune systems who cannot be vaccinated but depend on herd immunity for protection. The so-called data on the dangers of vaccines (particularly link to autism) have been debunked - but there is a lot of data showing the huge benefits of vaccines on the population level. I would really like to feel that my child is protected from diseases like TB, measles, rubella, polio, etc, that were almost eradicated in many countries but are now resurging because of the growing percentage of people who are not vaccinating their kids. I wouldn't circumcise my child because the data in favor is really not persuasive enough (and my family is Jewish, so this will definitely be something of an issue if I have a boy).


So anyhow, just putting it out there that there are a lot of different standpoints here.

post #22 of 32
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post

I am torn.  I feel so silly; with my first, I was VERY wary of ultrasounds... so I requested the midwives only use a doppler.  And now I know a doppler is so much worse!!! I had no idea at the time.  But you do your best, you know?


Why is a doppler worse? I don't know anything about this. I'm pregnant with my first, and i'm still waiting for all the books about this to come in the mail . . . hopefully today!

post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rosie2727 View Post

I'm total opposite of most here it seems. I've never heard of ultrasounds or Doppler being bad. In my opinion, my OB wouldn't do them if they were bad for baby. I had approx 3 with all 3 of my healthy and smart children. I've also never heard of it changing their brain?? I think their brains are changing so much in utero all the time anyway....

I plan on having one ASAP to determine location (prior ectopic), will do the nuchal one, 20 week, and any and all others my dr offers up.

But I also like hospital births, medical intervention, pain meds, vaccines, circumcision, etc. so I'm sure you all think I'm cuckoo!

Ack, I missed this somehow! Rosie, as someone already mentioned, we don't think you're cuckoo. There's a spectrum here and we are all enriched by our differences in perspective. I'm pro-vax and feel safest birthing at a hospital... without meds or interventions. I'm still breastfeeding my almost-3-year old. We diaper in Walmart disposables. I'm against circumcision. Everybody's complicated and nobody's really party line.

I can't find any truly compelling evidence against US/doppler use, but what bothers me is that the research isn't really up-to-date. Here's a short abstract that shows what I mean: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12071478 It's a call for more research, because we're really just not sure yet if there's the potential for harm. It's nice to be able to trust doctors to make safe choices for us, but if NOBODY knows a practice is harmful, they can't recommend against it. An extreme example is thalidomide. It was assumed to be so safe, you could buy it over-the-counter. Another example: doctors in the fifties used to recommend that pregnant women limit their smoking to one pack a day. Each historical moment has its own set of "safe practices" that are not fixed or infallible. I wonder how we will feel about ultrasounds in 50 years? It'll be interesting to see.

post #24 of 32

And this here is what I am enjoying about this board.  We will all be leaning toward natural parenting approaches but how it all plays out for each family is so different.  If we were all the same, how boring would that be??  We do vaccinate (though stagger the vaccinations when possible) but cloth diaper, extended breastfeed and co-sleep.  I'll be giving birth in a hospital but love reading all the different birth plans here.  We've got a pretty cool, diverse group. :thumb

post #25 of 32

Ultrasound causes heating of the cells as well as cavitation (creating air bubbles), there has been evidence that repeated ultrasounds increase risk of IUGR, it can cause cellular death. X-rays were believed to be safe for many decades, but after a while they realized there is a link between xray and childhood cancers. I'm leery of all ultrasound because of the risks, because of the disordering or cellular devlopment. Heck in some places they're successfully experimenting with using high dose ultrasound to cause temporary sterilization in men. 

Doppler is riskier because it's continuous ultrasound, imaging ultrasound isn't. 

If I felt the benefit of finding out information outweighed the risks of the ultrasound itself, I wouldn't hesitate with getting an ultrasound. 

post #26 of 32

I really appreciate all the information you're presenting, everyone. Thank you!  I was totally misinformed about risk of doppler vs. ultrasound. I just had the 18 week scan in my first pregnancy, but had the doppler at every midwife visit after 12 weeks. Hmm.  So much food for thought. I don't think I'll completely go without, but I'll definitely be doing less this time around. 


Maybe just doppler at my 13 week appointment and then the 18 week ultrasound, and wait for fetoscope other than that.  Last time, I felt movement at 13 weeks, so that's a pretty good sign of a beating heart anyway!


Thanks again everyone. 

post #27 of 32

Yes, after I start feeling movement consistently I won't feel the need for doppler/ultrasound... I'm undecided on the 20 week u/s. Even though I'll be in a hospital, the midwives there are VERY hands-off and don't push ANY ultrasounds, which I appreciate.  I've been feeling movement the past week or so but it's so early and it's so little that it's hard to believe it's actually happening!  My first appt will be March 3rd (I'll be 10 weeks 1 day) and we'll see how I feel then.  If I get an u/s that day, it might be the only one for the entire pregnancy.

post #28 of 32
I'll likely do some Doppler, mostly for the benefit of my kids and husband.
post #29 of 32
We did use both u/s and doppler with our first two, but for many of the reasons listed here, now we don't do either.  Our midwife listens to the baby's heartbeat with a fetoscope, and my children and husband get to listen that way, too. If we had a compelling medical reason to do an u/s, I wouldn't hesitate.  
It's now illegal for midwives to deliver twins in CA, so if I suspected twins, I would decline any tests that would confirm their presence. I'd rather be surprised at birth than lose my option to hb. 
post #30 of 32

This is a pretty good article:




Admittedly, much of the research on autism-like changes in the brain has been conducted with mice, but that is how all lines of research begin.


This is a brief report of a research article finding a strong association between ultrasounds and speech delays in humans, which are related to autism but less severe:




If it matters, I have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and I think there is sufficient reason to be very cautious with ultrasounds and only use them when deemed medically necessary. Same for Doppler.

post #31 of 32
Thread Starter 

Those are good articles, GreenBee, thank you for sharing. It's especially unnerving to me that the amount of sound waves is so much higher now than it was a few decades ago.


One hangup I have with any research that ties ultrasound to issues like autism is that they can show correlation but not causation. OK, so women who have many ultrasounds are more likely to have speech-delayed babies. But most women who have lots of ultrasounds are experiencing complicated pregnancies. Complications can make the womb a less-than-ideal environment for growing a healthy baby. Who says the speech delays (or whatever) come from ultrasounds and not from the already-complicated pregnancy?


I argue this, but all the while I'm talking myself down to one ultrasound this pregnancy (fingers crossed for no complications). The whole no-Tylenol-during-pregnancy news (link below) just goes to show how quickly accepted pregnancy protocol can be deemed unsafe.



post #32 of 32
 I argue this, but all the while I'm talking myself down to one ultrasound this pregnancy (fingers crossed for no complications). The whole no-Tylenol-during-pregnancy news (link below) just goes to show how quickly accepted pregnancy protocol can be deemed unsafe.


I agree! I think so much of it is influenced by our culture as well. For example, no study has ever shown negative outcomes associated with light alcohol consumption during pregnancy, but it is absolutely taboo to drink during pregnancy in the USA. However, the same is not true in Europe. Meanwhile, we Americans subject our babies to all kinds of other risks without a thought and easily dismiss research showing that cell phone usage, ultrasound, and Tylenol during pregnancy are not without risks, because we don't have cultural taboos around those things.


In case anyone is interested, this is another good article about ultrasound:


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