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-   -   ultrasounds? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/16999-april-2012/1327725-ultrasounds.html)

moss 08-29-2011 01:30 PM

Has anyone decided not to have ultrasounds? I havent even really started researching pros and cons but have heard that they can be harmful.

mylilmonkeys 08-29-2011 01:48 PM

I typically don't, but when I became convinced we were having twins, I insisted on one to confirm.  I was driving myself nuts with the is/isn't questions, birth plans, etc.  Our confirmation came at 19w, so right around the typical schedule.  For this pregnancy, I am very uncertain about dates, but am going to go with an April 30 guess.  One of my midwives suggested a dating US, but I am not comfortable so soon with such a tiny babe.  So if it becomes apparent that we need one for dating or confirm multiples again, then we'll worry about that later. 

 

I have researched and researched and it is fact that US cause changes to cells, and has been suggested to cause non-righthandedness, which may indicate changes to the brain.  ACOG has issued warnings against "novelty" ultrasound places on account of a possibility to damage a fetus' hearing if the probe is malpositioned.  But a serious risk to babies has not been identified conclusively.  I just prefer to use US as little as possible, which also means avoiding the doppler device used to listen to heart tones, in favor of the old-fashioned fetoscope.  I actually can hear very well with my fetoscope, usually being able to pick up my own babes hb's by 14-16 weeks.  

 

For pregnancies in which we have avoided all US, I didn't find myself worrying any more or less than usual.  There are too many things that US cannot detect for me to find them completely reassuring.


Mom2SammyJoe 08-29-2011 01:57 PM

I would like to have the typical 18-20 week scan for several reasons.

1. I don't do any genetic testing, but it is comforting to have a full anatomy scan done for me

2. to rule out multiples. I am a twin.

and the biggest reason is

3. we are planning our 2nd HBAC. I want to know where the placenta is. Problems can arise if the placenta is over the scar. With my daughter, it was very comforting to find out I had a posterior placenta. My midwife feels the same way.

 

I am not comfortable with having multiple scans. I really hope the 20 week scan is my one and only.


justKate 08-29-2011 02:13 PM

Mom2SJ, my reasons are pretty much the same. I'll let them listen with doppler at my first appt, just to confirm we have a heartbeat before we tell the world i'm pg.  Then I'll ask for fetoscope only, and one u/s at 18-20 weeks to check the placenta.  I'm planning a VBAC, and I want to know where it is, and what it's touching.  I had a uterine synechiae (sp?) off the side of my placenta when pg with DD, and I just want to make sure there's nothing unusual going on in there this time.  Although it's my first VBAC attempt, i've had 2 prior uterine surgeries so it's essentially a VBA2C.

 

I don't think i have any significant risk factors for multiples, so I'm not worried about that.  And I'm sure there would be other signs by 20ish weeks anyway.

 

Although i'm not convinced that u/s does cause problems, I'm not convinced it doesn't, either.  So what's the point in risking it?

 

With DD, I had a "dating" u/s at 6 weeks because I had no idea of my dates, a 18 week anatomy scan, and a higher-level scan at the perinatologist at 25 weeks due to the synechiae (to rule out amniotic bands, which are terrible).  I think one will be sufficient this time.  I know some people like to do the combo-testing that includes the nuchal fold measurement at ~12 weeks, but I don't think that would provide me with any useful information.  I might consider it just to be prepared if I were 40+...but who knows.


Hillaryblaire 08-29-2011 03:00 PM

At this point I'm thinking no US for me unless my midwife can give me some compelling evidence as to why one would benefit me/baby. We won't be using doppler either. 
 


SweetPotato 08-29-2011 04:25 PM

Because of my history of early mcs, I was very comforted to see my baby's heartbeat-- it lowered my stress immensely.  I'll also have the anatomy scan slightly early due to a history of early shortening and funneling of my cervix, so that we'll be able to catch it and intervene early if it looks like it's going to be a problem-- and there will likely be multiple intravaginal scans throughout the latter half of this pg to moniter that potential situation.  I'm very, very grateful that a technology is available to possibly help me avoid a 2nd or 3rd timester loss if my cervix should go to pot.  Now, the 3-d novelty shops give me the heebie-jeebies, but for situations like mine, I just think the medical benefits can be awesome.


AbbieB 08-29-2011 09:36 PM

No way will I risk an US or a doppler in the first trimester if everything seems to be proceeding normally. There are to many questions about US safety for me.

 

I have not done any US on either of my previous pregnancies, but I've been OK with using a doppler from 20ish weeks on. I prefer it to be minimal. I prefer a fetascope. It's cool to hear that swish-swish-swish of a heart beat but it is not absolutly necessary for me. I'm not sure what exactly anyone gains medically from hearing it once a month. Movement is enough to tell me the baby is alive and well.

 

I did enjoy using a doppler for locating my placenta (up high each time-great peace of mind for a homebirth) and hearing the umbilical cord in the 3rd trimester, and I think it's helpful to have some baseline heart tones as birth approaches. DS was a very mellow baby in utero, and without knowing that, his heart tones during labor could have seemed like they were too low. But since we had some baselines for comparison, we knew he was just fine.

 

There definitely is a place for using an US, and I would not hesitate to get one if there was a compelling reason, and there was not a better way to get the info.

 

 


broodymama 08-30-2011 10:01 AM

I usually don't have any ultrasounds unless a compelling reason comes up.  Last time I ended up getting one to rule out placenta previa, but that was situational and not a "routine" ultrasound. 

 

It's definitely a personal decision, to each her own.  smile.gif


piratemere 08-30-2011 10:29 AM

I agree that without compelling reason, I wouldn't have an US at all.  With my first I had one to rule out twins at 28 weeks, although if I were to do it again, I wouldn't have even had that one, because it wouldn't have changed my birth plans or anything.  DS1 was born via cesarean, so when I was preggers with DS2 I had a very late term US to determine the position of my placenta.  I just about drove the US tech crazy by sitting up as soon as she said it was up high and wiping the goop off my belly.  She really wanted to do a whole scan, and I really just wanted to know where my placenta was.  I did ask her if she had seen if it was a boy or girl, and she said she did.  I asked if she would tell me and she said, "You've waited 39 weeks, you can wait 1 more."  It made me laugh. 


Blueone 08-30-2011 12:04 PM

I had to have them with the last pregnancy because of hypothyroid.  But this time I don't really feel the need to have one too often.  I do want one around 20 weeks though to see what the sex is and all.  As for the doppler, I love hearing that little heart beat!  I wouldn't buy one, but I don't mind them at the checkup.


AiryFairy 08-30-2011 12:55 PM

We're still undecided.  I would rather not have one but my concern is getting in the way of my faith.  We would only have one later on and that would be to calm our fears of something being wrong with our baby that we would potentially need to prepare for.  I know the possibility of being needlessly worried by an US outcome (DD2 had a cyst on her brain which I was told not to worry about and that nothing could be done...I did worry) and also the possibility of US missing something.  After our loss, part me wants the reassurance that everything is progressing normal from what can be seen.  I don't believe that US's are safe and without fetal harm from my own research.  We've talked about it recently but probably won't make a decision until later when we would consider having one.  Maybe by then, we'll be feeling better and able to pass on the US...we'll see.


dealic 08-30-2011 01:15 PM

This thread makes me feel terribly guilty. I never thought I would want ultrasounds, but now that I am pregnant, I have this insatiable desire to see what's going on in there, and I want them.


AbbieB 08-30-2011 01:34 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by dealic View Post

This thread makes me feel terribly guilty. I never thought I would want ultrasounds, but now that I am pregnant, I have this insatiable desire to see what's going on in there, and I want them.



I feel that insatiable desire too. I think if I ended up in a situation where an US was freely available it would be very hard to resist.

 

 


mylilmonkeys 08-30-2011 02:44 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by dealic View Post

This thread makes me feel terribly guilty. I never thought I would want ultrasounds, but now that I am pregnant, I have this insatiable desire to see what's going on in there, and I want them.



I know that feeling.  It's so hard to reassure yourself that everything is fine when you can't lay eyes on your child.  But, the US only reassures for that moment.  I had three scans with my twins, and I'd have to say, it made me worry more close to those dates because of the fear they would find something.  Other times, I just relied on their movements and I would grab my own fetoscope and listen when I couldn't remember how often B had moved.  Same with my singletons, I'd just listen periodically if I felt like it, but their movements were enough.  This early pregnancy stuff is hard because I can't do that yet!  


WaitingForKiddos 08-30-2011 02:49 PM


I'm not sure I buy the idea that u/s are harmful. It's a personal decision I guess.

I typically have a dating scan (and with this pregnancy to see location as I have a history of an ectopic), a NT screen scan, the anatomy scan, and then whatever comes up after that. I had a million scans with DS (who is a righty btw) for all sorts of reasons and concerns. Not sure I'm going to have as many with this kiddo...hopefully not but if they are needed, well, then they are needed.


justKate 08-30-2011 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dealic View Post

This thread makes me feel terribly guilty. I never thought I would want ultrasounds, but now that I am pregnant, I have this insatiable desire to see what's going on in there, and I want them.


Oh my goodness, don't feel bad. hug2.gif I would have wanted one every visit last pg if it were an option.  I'm trying to be more stoic about things these days, but don't feel bad!  They definitely serve a purpose, and what is right for some is not right for all.  I would definitely stay away from those booths in the mall type setups though.  That's just weird to me.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jennyvangy View Post

I agree that without compelling reason, I wouldn't have an US at all.  With my first I had one to rule out twins at 28 weeks, although if I were to do it again, I wouldn't have even had that one, because it wouldn't have changed my birth plans or anything.  DS1 was born via cesarean, so when I was preggers with DS2 I had a very late term US to determine the position of my placenta.  I just about drove the US tech crazy by sitting up as soon as she said it was up high and wiping the goop off my belly.  She really wanted to do a whole scan, and I really just wanted to know where my placenta was.  I did ask her if she had seen if it was a boy or girl, and she said she did.  I asked if she would tell me and she said, "You've waited 39 weeks, you can wait 1 more."  It made me laugh. 


lol.gif   You reminded her that you were in charge, not her.  People don't like that.  orngbiggrin.gif

 


chapluqa 08-30-2011 04:10 PM

I can totally relate to the previous posts here. I'm pregnant with my first and I had already decided long beforehand that I would not have any ultrasounds (or dopplers, which are also ultrasounds, but actually more powerful because they are continuous waves rather than intermittent).  Now that I'm actually pregnant I sometimes feel like it would be nice to get an US just for the reassurance of seeing my baby, but the feeling isn't strong enough to make me go out and do it. I re-read all the information I could find on the risks and lack of benefits of ultrasound the other day and what really convinced me was the results of a Cochrane Review (a meta-review of many studies on the topic) which found that there are no improvements in outcomes for the baby as a result of routine ultrasound. Of course if I strongly suspected or had symptoms of a serious problem (placenta previa, for example), then I would go in for an ultrasound. But as long as I'm having a normal healthy pregnancy I won't do it.

 

For me it's also about making a conscious effort not to medicalize my pregnancy, meaning that I don't want to buy into the prenatal '(s)care' system of tests and warnings and doctors appointments focused on finding out and telling me about every possible thing that could go wrong, regardless of how low the risks actually are.  I'm not far along enough to have seen a doctor yet, but when the time comes I will either look for a very open minded GP (they handle most prenatal care here in Australia) or a midwife to 'look after me' - although really I feel that it's my responsibility to look after myself. I haven't seen a doctor in the past 5 years except for a routine pap last year, so I have a hard time accepting that I must see a doctor (and have an ultrasound, and all sorts of tests) now that I'm pregnant. Being a researcher by trade, I have been self-educating about pregnancy and birth for the past 2-3 years and I also feel very in touch with what is going on in my body so I am reluctant to hand over responsibility to an outsider.


SweetPotato 08-30-2011 04:24 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by dealic View Post

This thread makes me feel terribly guilty. I never thought I would want ultrasounds, but now that I am pregnant, I have this insatiable desire to see what's going on in there, and I want them.

 

Don't feel guilty!  I think there are a lot of "issues" where most moms are going to fall somewhere on a spectrum, and it's okay to not be totally against all u/s, or totally for all vax on schedule, or whatever extreme to either end.  A comfortable, educated middle ground can be a fine, and totally respectable, place to be. 

 

 

 

 


dealic 08-30-2011 05:25 PM

Thanks everyone. :) I don't feel so bad now. I am not a huge fan of routine testing anyways, but well, I had spotting early on, combined with intense back pain. The spotting lasted several days, the pain only a few hours but I was worried. The midwives wouldn't see me yet so I went to my doctor, who did give me a requisition for an ultrasound. I had it, and honestly haven't followed up (she was terrible - wouldn't let me see the screen and said nothing the whole time). I am afraid to call my doctor and ask because if its bad news, I don't want to know. But the longer it is that he hasn't called me makes me think everything is ok. Plus I have the "reassurance" of bad morning sickness to remind me I am still pregnant. But I have nightmares of miscarriage every night.


moss 08-30-2011 05:40 PM

dealic im so sorry to hear about your nightmares. I was like that with my first~just terrified i was going to lose him. I had a zillion ultrasounds with him~my OB had his own machine in the office and near the end he was checking my fluid levels by US all the time bc i went so far overdue.

Back then i had never even heard of women who didnt get US.

I think if there's a really good reason i'd have an US. Where i live they're not allowed to tell parents the gender~if i could find out i'd get one for that. I think it's nice to know. ealic im so sorry to hear about your nightmares. I was like that with my first~just terrified i was going to lose him. I had a zillion ultrasounds with him~my OB had his own machine in the office and near the end he was checking my fluid levels by US all the time bc i went so far overdue.

Back then i had never even heard of women who didnt get US.

I think if there's a really good reason i'd have an US. Where i live they're not allowed to tell parents the gender~if i could find out i'd get one for that. I think it's nice to know.




SweetPotato 08-30-2011 05:51 PM

Oh hon-- how scary!  I had a lot of problems before and during my pg with dd, and I remember how frustrating it was having an u/s tech there, but not a Dr.-- and so the u/s tech wouldn't tell me or show me anything.  Usually they called me straight back to see the Dr. after having a few minutes to look it over, though-- I can't believe that no one has called to tell you what's going on yet.  How long has it been?  I hope everything's okay.  -hugs-


dealic 08-30-2011 05:51 PM

Thanks. I am fine, and not worried at all (most of the time) when I am awake, but it all comes back at night.

 

I want to find out the gender too. smile.gif


broodymama 08-30-2011 06:25 PM

You know, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm kind of torn.  I usually don't do 1st trimester ultrasounds (the whole gown, stirrups, transvaginal ultrasound is panic-inducing for me, very triggering) but this was a surprise pregnancy as I was using birth control and I was on some medications that cause some concern for me.  I stopped taking the med before I tested positive (don't know why, missed it a few days and then after that just had a feeling to not take it.  So I'm considering doing the 1st tri ultrasound just to make sure everything is OK.  I'm torn.


sunflwrmoonbeam 08-30-2011 07:29 PM

Don't feel guilty. Everything I've read is that there has never ever been a known side effect to ultrasounds, ever. The worst thing they've been known to cause is to show something MIGHT be wrong with the fetus that a later ultrasound rules out. Now there isn't any research about the super long term effect of them, and some people are worried about that, which I respect. But having had a history of miscarriage, a family history of heart defects, and just being paranoid, I like my ultrasounds. Maternal stress is known to be less than good for a pregnancy, and hearing the heartbeat, seeing the baby bouncing around really helps me. YMMV.

 

With Dd I had an ultrasound at 6, 8, 12, and 20 weeks, and rented a doppler. This time around I bought a doppler and will have an ultrasound at 10.5 and 20ish weeks.


DeChRi 09-05-2011 08:55 AM

It is a personal decision for sure. No one should feel guilty. With #1 I was convinced they were evil and did none. I was anxiety ridden the whole time. #2 I did the 20 week with no regrets. #3 I did both a dating US and 20 week. This time I am undecided, but will do the 20 week. Aftr having 2 kids w/ chronic health conditions, I would rather be able to plan for their arrival if something were wrong. We all probably bring our own baggage to our decision making process. smile.gif

RubyQ 04-04-2012 06:18 PM

Are you all planning on getting a 3D ultrasound at all? There are many of those 3D boutiques around town and the pictures are pretty amazing. It seems worth it unless there are medical risks.



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