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#1 of 22 Old 10-22-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone else not having the 20 week scan? I'm seeing a homebirth midwife who only sends moms in for them if she feels a need. What are your reasons for or for not having the scan? Thanks for your help! :)


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#2 of 22 Old 10-22-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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We aren't having one this time unless the midwife thinks it is necessary. Last time we had a conservative ultsound schedule, but still had 3 (including one of the 4D kind).  We did the 20 week last time and I get why many people feel it is a must, I did at the time.  It took a long time though (about 20 minutes) and I just think that is way too long to have that wand on my belly. 

 

We don't have any major issues with them and realize in many cases they are needed as well as having caught many disorders, but to be honest there just isn't enough research for me to determine that they are 100% safe. I know that the sound level in the uterus has been registered at 100-120dB (decibel) range.  A 100-120dB sound in the air is similar to the sound level of an approaching train. Also, the heating tissues, acoustic streaming, cavitation... 

 

I think of it more as a medical intervention rather than a routine way to check on the baby or to determine the sex or just have a fun peek (which I did with my first pregnancy).  I know a couple of moms who were pregnant at the same time as me that had one almost everytime they saw the doctor. The doctor used it as a way to check the size of the baby (which was wrong in both cases by the way) and because the moms wanted them.  I get that, if everytime I went to my midwife if she offered one it would be difficult to say no. 

 

Anyway, I am low risk so it is an easy decision for me to make and if at any point a professional  who was caring for me thought needed one I wouldn't hesitate.

 

http://richmondmidwife.com/UltrasoundSafety.aspx

 

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#3 of 22 Old 10-22-2011, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply! With my other 3, I have been either with an OB or a CNM at our local hospital and just followed the US schedule they had. I usually had around 3 scans with each pregnancy. This is my first homebirth so I'm still getting used to the differences! :)


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#4 of 22 Old 10-22-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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I've always had at least 1 scan to check things like placental placement, rule out heart defects/spina bifida/things that would change my delivery circumstances (as in, would I need to be in a hospital, a bigger hospital, was vaginal delivery contraindicated)

 

I am having a 20 week scan this time around for all the same reasons - I declined all the blood testing, but would like to know ahead of time about thinks like spina bifida, heart defects, and want to make sure my placenta is not in a bad place (an added concern since I had a c/s last time)


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#5 of 22 Old 10-22-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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No u/s scan here either. Had one w/ dd1 (hospital birth w/ CNM and didn't educate myself enough then), had a hb w/ dd2 and no u/s (or doppler even except 1x for daddy to hear it). Doing the same again w/ this pregnancy as with my last pregnancy.

 

My reasons: I don't want to expose my baby to u/s as it's not been proven as safe. And I feel that u/s are not 100% reliable in detecting abnormalities/issues. Sometimes (and I hear about this more and more), it picks up something that either ends up resolving by the time the baby is born OR it wasn't really there as an issue in the first place. In those cases, it causes unneeded stress to the family. Stress is not good for anyone including the unborn baby. There are very few birth defects that would not be safe for a vaginal birth and those usually present other "symptoms" during the pregnancy. And honestly, if there was a defect, I'd rather find out at the birth than to feel the stress of knowing something was wrong w/ my baby the rest of the pregnancy.


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#6 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 09:32 AM
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I avoid ultrasounds, including doppler, unless there is an indication for one... like when my midwife thought I might be having twins at 37 weeks.  I wouldn't have an abortion even if there was a problem, and while I am having a home birth, I am very close to medical care if it is needed.  I also know people who have found things on their ultrasound that didn't mean anything but caused concern.  I also don't view it as a harmless procedure that you might as well get.  It carries with it risks to the baby, and I don't see it as worth the risk unless there is some indication.

 

Check out this MDC article from a while ago.

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#7 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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I'm not planning on a u/s either.  There is no medical reason for me to have one, and the risk is not worth it for me. If a medcial reason warrants it, then I'll have one.

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#8 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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I also have the 20 week ultrasound for the same reasons as below. Though I do believe there are probably some risks to ultrasounds, for me this is an acceptable risk to make sure that my baby is healthy and that I will be able to deliver her at home safely.

 

As a side note, I had a little bit of a spat with my ultrasound tech at my 20 week scan yesterday. Before we got started, she told me that she had to do a transvaginal scan to check my cervix and make sure the placenta and cord placement were not near the cervix. I have never had a transvaginal and didn't think there was any need for it. Those are things that you can check on the abdominal ultrasound. She threw out things like hemmorage and placenta previa and I told her that I understood what those things were and the risks but that at this point I saw no reason for a transvaginal scan. She was being very uppity about it and DH and I were looking at each other about to walk out. She finally backed down and we went about the ultrasound and the first things she looked at were my placenta and cord placement which were far away from my cervix and perfect. No reason whatsoever for a vaginal scan! Grrr. Don't mean to highjack. Just had to get it out.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post

I've always had at least 1 scan to check things like placental placement, rule out heart defects/spina bifida/things that would change my delivery circumstances (as in, would I need to be in a hospital, a bigger hospital, was vaginal delivery contraindicated)

 

I am having a 20 week scan this time around for all the same reasons - I declined all the blood testing, but would like to know ahead of time about thinks like spina bifida, heart defects, and want to make sure my placenta is not in a bad place (an added concern since I had a c/s last time)



 


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#9 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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These are pretty much my reasons. I read a study that determined that with congenital defects requiring surgery, the outcomes were actually better for those done around 17 hours after birth (likely the undiagnosed ones) than the ones performed within 4 hours after birth. This may be in the article linked above. My theory is that an undiagnosed baby is more likely to be left alone and to gestate longer than a diagnosed baby who would be considered high risk and would be having all kinds of tests and extra ultrasounds, then would likely be induced or c-sectioned early so that they could have the surgery. 

 

If it is a fatal defect, then I don't want to know. I want to enjoy the second half of my pregnancy and continue bonding with the baby. Personally, I don't think finding out 5 months ahead of time will make it any easier, and I don't think I could "prepare" for the death of my child.
 

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Originally Posted by treehugginhippie View Post

No u/s scan here either. Had one w/ dd1 (hospital birth w/ CNM and didn't educate myself enough then), had a hb w/ dd2 and no u/s (or doppler even except 1x for daddy to hear it). Doing the same again w/ this pregnancy as with my last pregnancy.

 

My reasons: I don't want to expose my baby to u/s as it's not been proven as safe. And I feel that u/s are not 100% reliable in detecting abnormalities/issues. Sometimes (and I hear about this more and more), it picks up something that either ends up resolving by the time the baby is born OR it wasn't really there as an issue in the first place. In those cases, it causes unneeded stress to the family. Stress is not good for anyone including the unborn baby. There are very few birth defects that would not be safe for a vaginal birth and those usually present other "symptoms" during the pregnancy. And honestly, if there was a defect, I'd rather find out at the birth than to feel the stress of knowing something was wrong w/ my baby the rest of the pregnancy.



 


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#10 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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I didn't have any ultrasounds with my third or fourth children, mostly for the reasons stated here already.  There was no indication of a medical need for one, and the research I had seen said that routine ultrasounds don't improve outcomes.  Also, I'm not paying for it, gov't insurance is, and I'm not keen on any procedures that aren't medically necessary if someone else is paying for it.

 

I had planned on not having an ultrasound with my fifth, but I was measuring small enough near the end that my mw recommended one.  The tech kept saying that the measurements she was taking wouldn't be too helpful since we hadn't had a 20 week scan.  Because I've measured small in the past and that whole thing almost led to me being inducted in the hospital the same day I had the ultrasound, I thought it might be a good idea to have the 20 week scan this time, and my mw agreed.  I'm still kind of on the fence about it, and worried that it won't end up being helpful anyway; we'll see.


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#11 of 22 Old 10-23-2011, 09:53 PM
 
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For my first baby. there is no doubt in my mind that having an ultrasound was extremely beneficial.  At 16 weeks along, she was diagnosed as having hydronephrosis of one kidney.  This is where the urine is unable to drain properly and causes the kidney to swell.  In her case we were lucky it was only one kidney because 11 years ago when she was born, having both kidneys blocked would have been a certain death sentence.  A it was, She would eventually have lost that kidney for sure, and it could have turned into an emergency since the kidney can become necrotic and cause a systemic, serious infection when it dies.  Since we caught it on the ultrasound, we were able to watch it as long as we could so we didn't have to operate too young.  She had surgery to repair it right before her first birthday and has never had a problem since.

 

A decade later, my first cousin had a baby where both kidneys were blocked.  Technology had advanced enough in those years to have give this baby a fighting chance.  She would have died in utero if it wasn't for  docs going in with needles and extracting the urine out of her kidneys.  This had to be done several times to keep her alive til she was ready to be born.  The swelling was so severe it was crowding her other organs.  Today, she is almost two and doing very well.

 

Many other babies have been saved by surgery and procedures done in utero.  Even though these cases are rare, to me it is well worth it to rule out what can be easily seen with a simple ultrasound.  Here's a link to the famous photo many have probably seen of a surgery of a baby still in utero and the outcome.  http://www.kerygmafamily.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=1248

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#12 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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I had a dating ultrasound because I had no idea how far along I was (no cycle due to breastfeeding), but I declined the 20 week ultrasound. 


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#13 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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I wont be having any unless there is a concern with placenta placement, incompetent cervix (had issues early on) or other situation that would change the level of care we need. 

We can monitor both things pretty well without one so, I doubt it would come to that.   I also avoid the doppler for reasons mentioned already. 

 

 


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#14 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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I dunno, vaginally birthing a spina bifida baby can worsen paralysis. To me that's a pretty big deal I'd want to know about.


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#15 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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I was planning on getting an ultrasound (I actually have my 20 week appointment tomorrow!) but now I'm kind of getting cold feet. On the one hand, if there is something that needs to be fixed in utero, or requires a c-section, it would be really good to know about it in advance (especially as c-sections are more risky for me with my blood clotting disorder). On the other hand, since I don't have an actual set of numbers or percentages as far as benefits vs. risks, it's hard for me to know if one outweighs the other. I'm so torn and stressed out about this right now! Assuming everything is normal, this will be the only ultrasound I'll have for this pregnancy. Will one ultrasound really be so bad for my fetus?


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#16 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post

I dunno, vaginally birthing a spina bifida baby can worsen paralysis. To me that's a pretty big deal I'd want to know about.


I think it comes down to philosophy, and I am really glad that parents can make decisions about ultrasound and their own situation.  For me, this was a well-planned pregnancy with a nutrient-rich pre-conception diet for a whole year before conception, I'm in my twenties, and I haven't been exposed to anything that I would guess would cause a problem, so I don't feel like we're really at high risk for spina bifida or other birth defects.  I realize that there is always a possibility, but I don't live my life looking for problems that aren't likely to exist.

 

I also think it's related to my philosophy on vaccines.  (I don't think that ultrasound is as risky as a vaccine, and I'm not completely opposed to vaccines, either.)  I just think that for the people who would never have a problem, it is better not to go through the intervention.  There are some that would experience a problem worth undergoing the intervention, and there are some who would be about equally well off having it or not.  It's a personal decision to weigh the risks.
 

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Originally Posted by Brighids Flame View Post

I was planning on getting an ultrasound (I actually have my 20 week appointment tomorrow!) but now I'm kind of getting cold feet. On the one hand, if there is something that needs to be fixed in utero, or requires a c-section, it would be really good to know about it in advance (especially as c-sections are more risky for me with my blood clotting disorder). On the other hand, since I don't have an actual set of numbers or percentages as far as benefits vs. risks, it's hard for me to know if one outweighs the other. I'm so torn and stressed out about this right now! Assuming everything is normal, this will be the only ultrasound I'll have for this pregnancy. Will one ultrasound really be so bad for my fetus?


While I'm not a big fan of ultrasound, no, I don't think that having one ultrasound is really that terrible for a baby.  Actually, doppler is more risky than ultrasound, and I allow my midwife to use it sporadically in labor since the fetoscope is more difficult to use in the water.  If I were going to have an ultrasound again, I would ask my care provider for specific things that I would like to look for (like placenta position, spina bifida, twins, etc) and ask the technician to look for only those things and to keep the ultrasound short.  I don't need to know about Down's Syndrome, etc, until the birth.

 

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#17 of 22 Old 10-24-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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I think if you are worried about potential issues that can be detected early, it would be the right thing to do to get one.  It may stress you out more not to.  There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with taking an educated risk either way.  Do what you think will make your pregnancy the most stress free.  Plenty of people get many ultrasounds throughout their pregnancies and see no adverse reactions or issues.  I am 100% alright with my choice not to have one for all of the reasons above, but I understand that there is a slight risk involved with that. 

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighids Flame View Post

I was planning on getting an ultrasound (I actually have my 20 week appointment tomorrow!) but now I'm kind of getting cold feet. On the one hand, if there is something that needs to be fixed in utero, or requires a c-section, it would be really good to know about it in advance (especially as c-sections are more risky for me with my blood clotting disorder). On the other hand, since I don't have an actual set of numbers or percentages as far as benefits vs. risks, it's hard for me to know if one outweighs the other. I'm so torn and stressed out about this right now! Assuming everything is normal, this will be the only ultrasound I'll have for this pregnancy. Will one ultrasound really be so bad for my fetus?



 


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#18 of 22 Old 10-25-2011, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candelaria80 View Post

I think if you are worried about potential issues that can be detected early, it would be the right thing to do to get one.  It may stress you out more not to.  There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with taking an educated risk either way.  Do what you think will make your pregnancy the most stress free.  Plenty of people get many ultrasounds throughout their pregnancies and see no adverse reactions or issues.  I am 100% alright with my choice not to have one for all of the reasons above, but I understand that there is a slight risk involved with that. 

 



This.  I think that stress is one of the major factors, and pregnant women don't need any more stress than they already have to deal with.  Stress is one of the biggest reasons to have an ultrasound, and it's one of the biggest reasons not to have one.  It's about knowing yourself and what would best for you.

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#19 of 22 Old 10-25-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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I really think it is personal choice. With most of the conditions spotted on ultrasound, you can't do a thing during the pregnancy. For me, the ultrasound was reassuring. I had a loss right (and I meant right - 2.5 weeks) before I got pregnant this time. I'm also having to take medication that could cause a slight risk of issues. Seeing him healthy, with all of his parts in good shape meant a lot to me.

That being said, I know people that skip them. My chiropractor had a home-birth, and only got a scan around 36 weeks to see if there were any major issues. She wanted to make sure the heart had four chambers, the organs were there, etc. They took the midwife to a private place that usually does gender scans, but the tech is certified in diagnostic ultrasound. For her, that was enough. (We have been to that same tech twice for gender scans on our babies.)

I might have gone a different route had I had the option of a home-birth, but I didn't have the choice. I'm not high risk, but because there are only two case reports on women with my disease being pregnant, I'm too high risk for a birth center or midwife. Things are a lot more medical than I would like, but I chose an OB that supports my desire for a VBAC that is as natural as possible given the circumstances.

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#20 of 22 Old 10-25-2011, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad that I posted this. I needed to hear different reasons and opinions. I really didn't know how I felt, but now I feel like I can evaluate my siuation and make the best choice for us. I am thankful to have this Mothering community!


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#21 of 22 Old 10-25-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I wanted to add that I was really glad that I was able to get the anatomy scan at my OB's office this time. She was quick and got all of the measurements in under 15 minutes. At a local radiology lab where I had all of the diagnostic scans for DD, they would easily take 40-45 minutes. While any danger is controversial, I think that less exposure is always better.

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#22 of 22 Old 10-30-2011, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post

I've always had at least 1 scan to check things like placental placement, rule out heart defects/spina bifida/things that would change my delivery circumstances (as in, would I need to be in a hospital, a bigger hospital, was vaginal delivery contraindicated)

 

I am having a 20 week scan this time around for all the same reasons - I declined all the blood testing, but would like to know ahead of time about thinks like spina bifida, heart defects, and want to make sure my placenta is not in a bad place (an added concern since I had a c/s last time)


I had one for these exact reasons.  I'm in the boat of having found an isolated soft marker that may resolve on it's own.  I'm not, however, upset that I had the scan.  I'm just not letting the soft marker finding stress me out, especially given the actual statistical risks related to this particular marker in medical literature.

 

For me, I feel that the benefits outweigh the risks.  I'm 38/39 so I'm at a little more risk of having a baby with problems.  With a home birth planned, I want to make sure of as much as I possibly can.

 

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