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Ultrasound Trouble

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My husband and I want to have an ultrasound but can't find anyone to do it!

We have a midwife and while we were still deciding if this was the place we wanted to have the baby, we asked if they can do ultrasounds. They told us that they can and will be able to if we want one. They also told us that there were two things that were not in the price they quoted us--lab work and coming and staying early (which is only $200 a week). We didn't make this decision lightly as this place is a little over two hours from home.

This week we traveled for the prenatal visit with the anticipation of asking for an ultrasound to find the sex of the baby (I'm 19 weeks). Also I wanted to let my husband breathe easy that, yes there is a baby in there, and he or she is doing fine.

When we got there and asked to have an ultrasound, we were shot down and told that ultrasounds are very harmful to babies. They said that they can do ultrasounds if one becomes medically necesary. If we wanted to have one done "on a whim" we would have to pay extra, they would have to check with a doctor, plus they STRONGLY discouraged it.

I had done research in my early pregnancy and personally weighed the pros and cons (mostly from information found on the mothering website). I always knew it was important to my husband to have one done. When we decided that we wanted to know the sex of the baby, it was only a natural decision that we would try to have one around 20 weeks. It was our plan to have only this one ultrasound.

One of the midwives told us that ultrasounds can cause ADD, Autism, Hearing problems, and a whole host of other problems. She suggested that I do research at mothering.com!

I am so hurt now because I want my husband to be able to relax and we want to know what we are having! I still maintain that one ultrasound is safe enough for what we want it for. But on the other hand, our midwives come from an education and highly respected midwifery center.

I have since tried to find a way to have an ultrasound in town. I called the OB I went to at 8 weeks (but since have discontinued care because we were seeing a midwife) and he said he would not do any prenatal visits with me if he wasn't going to deliver the baby.

There is a school two hours from our home that lets the students who are learning to do ultrasounds do them for free, but even that requires a doctor's note. I am so frustrated! Any ideas?

How do you all feel about the safety of ultrasounds?
post #2 of 8
I'm one of the moms who doesn't believe that the ultimate safety of prenatal ultrasounds has been proven. That being said, I don't believe it has been disproven, either. I'd like to ask your midwives where they're getting their hard and fast facts about ADD, autism, etc. And if their answer is "the message boards at MDC", personally, I'd look for new midwives.

I do agree with the OB - if he's not doing your prenatal care, he has no reason to prescribe tests for you. Another option would be to see a family practitioner (like, "start care" with him/her) and say that you're pretty sure you're about 20 weeks along, but you're not exactly sure... that's usually target language where doctors start wanting hard and fast info.

But, I wouldn't feel comfortable lying to someone just to get a test that, honestly, isn't necessary. I understand *wanting* to have it done, but that doesn't mean that any health care provider will let you do a test just because you want it, you know? If you have concerns about the health of the baby, bring that up with your midwife. If you think the baby should be kicking more than it is, or you're not feeling movement at all (or greatly reduced) down the road - those are good reasons to request an ultrasound. But if you're just wanting it to see the baby and determine the gender, a lot of prenatal care providers (including doctors) won't do it just for that reason. I know my doctor (family practice) doesn't routinely do ultrasounds in otherwise healthy pregnancies. Just my 2 cents =)
post #3 of 8
My midwives ordered an ultra sound for me. I had it done last friday. Yes I had to go to a seperate place to have it done and yes I had to pay for it, but they did still order it.

Also there are many other reason they do the 20 week ultra sound besides finding out the sex of the baby. They generally scan the baby and can look for birth defects and other things at this age. That is the reason when we decided to have the 20 week one done. That and the fact that after three girls, I wanted DH to have time to get used to the fact if it was girl #4. It's not. He wont stop calling him an it though.

Anyway, if it is very important to your DH you could try a place like this,


I know the FDA is cautioning against them, but I also know how frustrating ti can be when your doctor refused to do an ultra sound when you really want one.
post #4 of 8
I've gotta say, I would not pursue an ultrasound just to find out the sex of the baby. First of all, they're never 100% guaranteed right. Second, ultrasound is a diagnostic exam, not just a chance to see the baby.

While I don't believe that reasonable ultrasound examination is harmful, I think it can be overused. I've had two ultrasounds, and can't imagine having another one with this pregnancy unless there's a medical reason. The first was to do the NT measurements, because I refused amnio - ultrasound is, IMO, less invasive than a needle in the belly. The second was an anatomy scan, again because I refused more invasive testing and we had some concerns. The only reason I can see having another - and it would be a quick one - would be to check my fibroids, which have been a concern.

But to pursue it - and pay out of pocket - just to know if it's a boy or girl, or to be sure "there's a baby in there" (what else would it be, a puppy?) doesn't make much sense to me.
post #5 of 8
b_light, if they are quoting the MDC as a source of their info I would advice that you find new midwives, NOW!!!
The sources of info they should be giving you are facts backed by studies not fear tactics.
For the 2 plus years I've hung around MDC I can tell you that many here have had atleast 1 u/s, it's a standard course of care at 20 weeks to have an anatomy scan for MANY midwives.
If you really want an u/s then a 3d/4d ultrasound free standing centre may be your best bet as many don't need a script, I understand the urge to know the sex, with both pregnancies my babies have told me what their sex was, however being able to go with dh and see with this current pregnancy was amazing!
And I definately understand the, "just to be sure someone is there" after 2 m/c as much as my midwife told me yes I was preg, seeing that blimp on the screen OMG! best feeling in the world.

Best of luck no matter what you decide
post #6 of 8
double post... reasons, site wasn't working right last night and said it didn't post the first time.
post #7 of 8
I live in the same area as b_light, and have already sent her info privately on my doc, who is ok with doing prenatals even if you're seeing a midwife (which is cool since homebirth midwifery is illegal here, and thus docs don't see it too often).

There are no free standing u/s places here, that I know of. I do know that my midwife is able to send people to that u/s school. b_light, if you're interested, call or e-mail Karen (let me know if you need contact info), and she would probably be willing to write the script for the u/s if she's able to.

I just looked in my midwife's info packet, and it lists Virginia State College (the school you're referring to, I'm sure), and it says to talk to Daphne. Maybe talking to her gets you out of needing a script? I'm not sure. This is a free u/s. Another place to go is Jasper, AL where you can get a 4D u/s for $150. The website is http://www.alabamababy.com - I don't know much about this place. It's just listed here as a place you can get u/s. My midwife doesn't believe u/s is safe, but she also realizes that some people want one or need one for whatever reason, and she leaves it completely up to the client as to whether one is obtained or not. She lists info in her packet about the safety (or rather unknown safety status) of u/s, so that her clients are informed. She does the same thing with all subjects (eye goop, Vit. K, circ, etc.) - she gives you the information and tells you why she doesn't agree with the item, but says it's up to you to decide. She just helps get you information so you can make an informed decision.

But if you want your insurance covering the u/s and also want to have an OB on hand just in case you need to go to the hospital with any issues (the reason I'm seeing an OB, since I was preterm last time), I highly recommend going to my OB. He's way cool and open minded. He also has pretty new equipment (3D/4D capable), which means the u/s is a little more accurate than some. I've been really happy with my OB. My chiropractor is seeing him also, and she's planning the first waterbirth at Crestwood hospital! She's bringing her own pool, and the OB has agreed to it and the hospital has agreed to it! The OB has never been to a waterbirth. But my chiro will have my midwife's two assistants (both slinging young babies) as doulas, and they have both attended numerous waterbirths. It will be interesting to see how the OB reacts to the two doulas wearing babies during the labor/birth.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to clear up a misunderstanding...

I did my research at the mothering magazine website--looking up articles as a starting point. This was the same advice the midwives gave me (they didn't advise me to do research at the forums, rather they advised me to start my research at the magazine's website, mothering.com). I am going to a very highly respected midwifery center, and I didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about the advice they gave me.
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