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Ultrasound research

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Will any of you who have information about the potential effects/risks of ultrasound versus the potential benefits please direct me to those resources? My gut is telling me this is something I need to research before making my decision. Thank you!
post #2 of 6
I have a lot of stuff and I was going to pool it together and post - and since you asked, I'll gather it up and post it here.

back in a bit...

Here's a long discussion from the archives.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I greatly appreciate your link to the archive discussion. I printed it out for Nick to read. I knew my gut wasn't just making things up. Instinctively, it just doesn't seems normal.

BUT, Nick's son (8 now) was correctly diagnosed through u/s with his abdomen not closed normally and the babe was taken immediately to surgery after c-section. Having not been there, and Nick having repressed a lot of those memories, who knows how things were handled and whether they would have been able to handle it just as well with a normal birth and surgery upon learning the problem. Maybe it was better to know ahead of time, but the way it sounds, they were both completely a wreck for the last 4 months of the pregnancy. I don't know which is worse, worrying for 4 months and then through surgery or worrying for a few hours of surgery.

Anyway, I don't anticipate any problems with my bean. I can feel s/he's growing away!

dues sometime end of aug/early sept
post #4 of 6
Additional research I found that wasn't mentioned in the archived thread:

U/S background:


big list of collected u/s studies linked from the New England Journal of Medicine, some studies require a login or subscription to the Journal, no charge if you're a subscriber, and after 6mo they're open to registered users. Links to some main article abstracts are availalble:


Another list of u/s resources, some links are broken (the first 3, at least) and some are repeated in this post:


U/S machine specs and safety info:


U/S recommendations:


Risks may exceed benefits articles:


Mainstream medical statements:

From U of Michigan Has a lot of links.
(the following is a recurring statement, I didn't include them all)

Personal webpage w/links to other articles (not mine, hard to read, tho, pink text on lite-blue) - mostly non-scientific data:


Article from Midwifery Today:

same article, different website

Article from Mothering:


From How Stuff Works.com (cool site):



post #5 of 6
My personal take on finding all this stuff: When I started, I didn't have much of an opinion either way. I had read a couple natural pregnancy books that said don't do it if it isn't indicated, but no details. And the standard medical line is, it shouldn't be routine, but it isn't bad. So, based on this limited knowledge, I just wanted to know more about it.

1) It took a long time, I've had it for over a month, and have been looking for more info. That it was so hard to find info led me to a couple considerations:
a) perhaps there isn't anything to say about u/s
b) perhaps nobody bothers looking at it because it's accepted as safe
c) however, somebody better damn well be looking at it because they keep changing the technology all the time without any guidelines or further testing.

2) Doppler and u/s are different (you may say duh) in that one is looking for sound and the other images. u/s machines have built in dopplers, but they aren't usually turned on the whole time. when you hear the heartbeat via u/s, that's the doppler. It was even harder to find information about doppler than u/s. I found it inconclusive that doppler was more harmful than u/s simply because I couldn't find enough info or anything specific about the ranges and specifics about the type of sound waves and their effects after bouncing off of blood vessels as opposed to the sound waves of u/s bouncing off of skin, myelin sheaths, etc.

3) since babies heads are rounded, and there's a lot of brain development going on, the u/s waves can cause more harm from the energy created by the sound waves (not from the level of the machine itself, but once it bangs around inside the head) that can cause damage to myelin, which is the stuff around the spinal cord, neurotransmitters and nerve endings. without it, or if it's damaged, these things don't work very well and don't repair themselves very well.

4) the bubbles that are raised by the u/s on the skin from the sound waves are more dangerous than just blistering skin, as the fluid created from the heat is toxic and once it is released into the amnionic fluid is reabsorbed by the baby or into the placenta and therefore the mother to be disposed of by her body.

5) u/s is a useful tool, but shouldn't be used routinely. and any exposure should be short and to the point. repeated exposure shouldn't be routine, either.

Best wishes,

post #6 of 6
somehow I thought this would touch off a debate - I'm glad not to though. not that I think silence is acquiescence...

best wishes to all.

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