Ultrasound - yes or no? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I'd encourage you to have an anatomy scan before a homebirth. It is a good and peaceful thing to know that everything is as it should be and you don't have special, knowable risk factors.

 

My SIL's sister had four homebirths and choose not to have an ultrasound with her last. The child had unknown special needs and the lack of immediate treatment was very dangerous for the infant's condition. I don't want a super scary post (both mother and child survived, there was no birth injury) But there was a lot of emergency vehicles and heliocopter flights, and it made their nursing relationship very difficult, and some issues would have been averted with a prenatal plan of care. The midwife involved stopped doing homebirths for a year and now will only take clients who agree to an anatomy scan.

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Old 08-16-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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Yes.  It is in my opinion a very important thing.  An anatomy scan can save lives.  My son was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.  We had planned to deliver him at a very small local rural hospital that has an excellent birthing center.  We did the 20 week ultrasound and nothing showed up defect wise.  Later I developed cholestasis of pregnancy and went into liver failure.  We did an ultrasound at 32 weeks before they almost delivered the baby to see if he had enough lung development to be viable.  He did not!  His lungs were nearly there because his intenstines, stomach, etc. where in his chest cavity.  Had we not had that late ultrasound we would have delivered at our rural hospital and there would not have been staff ready for his delivery.  He would not have had intubation immediately following deliver.  At best he would have been severely disabled due to lack of oxygen, at worst I'd rather not think about.

If you have a chance, get a late Anatomy Scan for nothing else than it might save your child's life.  Even if you are delivering at a major hospital, it is best to know and have the staff ready to accommodate any issues. 

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post





Wow, thanks for compiling all that research!


You're very welcome!

 

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Old 08-16-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arliemaria View Post

Yes.  It is in my opinion a very important thing.  An anatomy scan can save lives.  My son was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.  We had planned to deliver him at a very small local rural hospital that has an excellent birthing center.  We did the 20 week ultrasound and nothing showed up defect wise.  Later I developed cholestasis of pregnancy and went into liver failure.  We did an ultrasound at 32 weeks before they almost delivered the baby to see if he had enough lung development to be viable.  He did not!  His lungs were nearly there because his intenstines, stomach, etc. where in his chest cavity.  Had we not had that late ultrasound we would have delivered at our rural hospital and there would not have been staff ready for his delivery.  He would not have had intubation immediately following deliver.  At best he would have been severely disabled due to lack of oxygen, at worst I'd rather not think about.

If you have a chance, get a late Anatomy Scan for nothing else than it might save your child's life.  Even if you are delivering at a major hospital, it is best to know and have the staff ready to accommodate any issues. 


I am sorry that you had such a terrifying experience.

 

I still think that if it is a normal pregnancy (without risk factors or warning symptoms) there is no reason for "routine" ultrasounds.  Just because antibiotics save lives does not mean that every woman who goes into labor should take them, but it is common practice.  Regardless of scary things like your experience and some of the earlier posts, home births after healthy pregnancies have excellent outcomes -- even without routine ultrasounds.  As with many other things, it is about weighing the potential risks and potential benefits of any given intervention.
 

 

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Old 08-17-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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It's easy to forget why doctors conduct ultrasounds. They're screening for defects. Sometimes, it really is in your best interest to know.

 

I was one in a million, I'm sure, but my first baby was severely hydrocephalic with a giant head. His skull was so full of fluid that his brain was compressed to the bottom edge of his skull. This was a very complicated situation, with a painful, complicated end. But the ultrasound was what clued us in. We did the best we could with the information, and I'm glad I had that information. It helped me stay safe in a very complicated birth situation.

 

Needless to say, I had an ultrasound with my second baby, too. Imagine the tears of relief when we saw his perfect little head.

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post


  As with many other things, it is about weighing the potential risks and potential benefits of any given intervention.

 

 


I think this is what we all need to remember, no matter where we stand on this issue.  Some will look at all the available data and decide that the benefit of an ultrasound outweighs the risk. Others will decide the opposite.  I important thing is that all of us (in this thread, at least) have educated ourselves and have made the decision we feel is best based on the information we have.

 

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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I haven't gone through the links AnaB thoughtfully provided in her article, but we're not currently pregnant. But, to your point, I think one ultrasound late in the first trimester may be an acceptable risk, but I think we had like six for our son -- the second one seemed crazy excessive, so I stopped counting.

 

I read a piece from the 2006 Midwifery today http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasoundrodgers.asp talking smack about ultrasounds, but the epidemiology sounds like it just hasn't been done. The Pasko Rakic paper http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?status=301&id=1755 provides a mechanism for a link between autism and ultrasounds, but it hasn't been researched in humans as far as I can tell. It's super frustrating to have this very common procedure look so dangerous, and not be able to find any reassuring studies.

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