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#1 of 26 Old 07-10-2014, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ultrasounds

How many have you gotten and will get for this pregnancy?

I've already had three scans done.. one at 6w following spotting, 9w from the clinic that did the IUI, 14w in the same appointment for the harmony test, and a fourth one-- anatomy scan-- scheduled at 20w.

I'm hoping the 20w one is the last one unless there are complications. Is there any reason to get more? Here it is routine for doctors to scan at every appointment, which I did with my dd and didn't see the point of it.

Then again I was reading that the doppler used to listen to heartbeat is ultrasound as well, so seems like ultrasounds can't be avoided..

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#2 of 26 Old 07-10-2014, 07:06 PM
 
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I had one at 10 weeks bc they thought I may be pregnant with twins. I wasn't going to have an early one but I wanted to know if it was.
I am having an anatomy scan in two or three weeks. I haven't set the appt. yet. I only want to make sure everything is ok. This is the last one they will give unless there is complications. With my first they suspected I had an amniotic band. So I had an extra US after my anatomy scan.
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#3 of 26 Old 07-10-2014, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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apeydef, what week did was the extra u/s done?

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#4 of 26 Old 07-10-2014, 09:28 PM
 
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I had one at around 10 weeks to confirm viability. Then I had 3 more in the following week and a half making sure the baby was OK after I had some serious medical issues and was lucky to survive. I had my NT scan around 13 weeks (the first pregnancy where I've done this one) and I'll have my anatomy scan (& fetal echocardiogram) in August but that should be it. This babe has already had more scans than my last 3 babies combined, but not something I would have chosen.

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#5 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 03:33 AM
 
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I hope to have no scans done this pregnancy, our sixth, and we had none with our fifth either. I also refuse the doppler and request only a fetoscope be used. My midwife is fine with this arrangement, but I imagine an OBGYN might be resistant since they are often more attached to technology to give them information. It is always your body, your baby and your choice though, since after all, you are the consumer and they are being paid to work for you! Personally, the more I read about ultrasound waves, the less I want them beaming onto my babies. I had routine ultrasound done once on my first baby sometime mid-pregnancy and then with my next three babies, two done, one in the first trimester and one mid-pregnancy. Now it seems that they are being used more frequently.

The concern I have is that the technology has not been thoroughly studied to test the safety of doing these scans on developing babies. Also alarming to me is that the machines are not regulated for calibration or output either. One machine could be significantly stronger than another. This includes doppler technology. It reminds me of when x-ray was used widely for pregnancy and with much excitement about seeing into the womb, but this was done without testing the technology thoroughly first. When it was shown as harmful, it took decades for its use to fully fade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Stewart

Even my mother-in-law had one done in 1982 to check for position (This could have been done with hands!) when my husband and his twin sister were on their way to being born early! Ultimately, it was an easy vaginal birth before doctors lost the art of assisting twin deliveries and the babies thrived, but my sister-in-law had cancer before the age of 30. My mother-in-law feels so much guilt. She wishes she had not felt intimidated by her doctor and had refused the x-ray. She knew the danger, but felt like she had no choice since it was ordered by her doctor. Going against a doctor's order is not always an easy thing. Now doing an x-ray on pregnant women would be unthinkable.

I'm hopeful that ultrasound would be proven safe if many large scale studies were done, but the few and only controlled studies that have been done show it to be potentially harmful, especially done more than a couple times. It appears that it may increase preterm labor, IUGR and many other things. I am including two links from good sources that provide thoughtful information. The authors are MD's. Reading them helped me feel more informed and empowered.

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articl...oundwagner.asp

http://sarahbuckley.com/ultrasound-s...se-for-concern

"A summary of the safety of ultrasound in human studies, published in May 2002 in the prestigious US journal Epidemiology concluded
…there may be a relation between prenatal ultrasound exposure and adverse outcome. Some of the reported effects include growth restriction, ..."
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#6 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 06:22 AM
 
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I had scans at 6w, 12w, 15w, and will again at 20w. I think this is a bit more than normal for me; in the past, I had 6w, 12w, and 20w. I feel fine with the safety record of ultrasounds, and even if I didn't, the CNM FSBC here won't let you give birth there without the 20w scan. I feel that my baby would be more at risk in a hospital OB birth without a scan than a CNM FSBC birth with a scan.

I give props to the ladies who don't get scans. I can't resist the urge to see the baby and make sure it does not have any anomalies.

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#7 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 06:44 AM
 
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I had one at 7w due to bleeding and then the 13 week scan to test for trisomies, etc. We'll do the 20w as well and then hopefully that's it.

With our last pregnancy, I was trying to do no u/s except the 20w scan, but when we lost that pregnancy I found I really needed the reassurance with this one. With my daughter I had a 9w, 13w, 20w, and one at 39w because we thought she was breech. That was way more than I would have wanted, but I was with a super-interventionist OB for the first half of that pregnancy and they do a lot of u/s.

We do the 13w and the 20w because we would want to prepare for anything unexpected and in some cases, there are things like heart defects that it's better to know about for labor and delivery decisions.

Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
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#8 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 06:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlspn View Post
apeydef, what week did was the extra u/s done?
Not that long after my anatomy scan. I think that time I did the anatomy scan at like 17-18 weeks. Then the other US like a week or so later. They had me go get a more high tech one to make sure everything was ok.
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#9 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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zero, hopefully. I would consider a late-term scan if what we were scanning for had a high level of accuracy and I considered it medically necessary, ie it's an emergency. I have never had a visual scan.

I had u/s exposure myself as therapy given by a chiropractor, when I was in high school and had some back pain due to a scoliosis.

I had ultrasound exposure regularly with #1 , even though I wanted zero, because I was ignorant that doppler=ultrasound and my midwives didn't see fit to tell me.
No u/s with #2 #3 #4

#5 I was present with my son for MRI and CT scans before I found out I was pregnant. When I went to my friendly neighborhood midwife for a proof of pregnancy letter, she was out of preg test pee sticks, and I hadn't felt movement yet, so she did a quick doppler scan for heartbeat. I was feeling worried about the earlier exposure and it was reassuring, even though I felt guilty about it later. Silly pregnancy brain!

None with #6
#7 had dental x-rays before we knew I was pregnant, but no u/s

I avoid them for the same reason as Bracha above (nice links BTW)
You always have a choice; it seems more difficult at first to step away from something popular and trendy, and each step takes you further down the path to weirdness- but you might just end up in a happier place.


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#10 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 10:37 AM
 
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@LilyTiger I also thought ultrasound scans were important because it might facilitate better treatment for the baby if something were wrong, but scientific evidence shows that this logic may not be true. This article details the results of detected abnormalities vs. undetected abnormalities:

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasound.asp

In the study, the babies who were not diagnosed with ultrasound before birth were the babies who were more likely to survive, had higher birth weights, more successful treatments and had better outcomes. This really changed my thinking about needing to have ultrasounds and now it makes more sense to me for the baby to be evaluated after the birth.

We all have to find our own comfort level though! There are a lot of tough choices out there!
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#11 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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That's an interesting article, but without the actual significance numbers, there's no way to know these differences didn't occur by chance. I couldn't get easy access to any of the journal articles cited, so I can't check the significance numbers myself. But all are at least 10 years old and some over 20. And there are many studies out there that support ultrasound use in some cases, so there are counter-studies.

My midwife said that in their experience babies with spina bifida, for example, have better outcomes when they can be delivered at a hospital with a NICU and with a specialist team right there. I also know at least one woman whose child had a heart condition that would have been lethal in a home birth. The latter is, of course, an anecdote, so I'm not using it as conclusive proof of anything. But it obviously weighs in my calculations.

But for us more than anything, the need to know comes from the need to prepare ourselves, get our ducks in a row, gather emotional and physical support, and prepare our home for a special needs child (which would require extensive renovations. I would rather do that kind of preparation before birth than after.

I fully support women who choose to eschew ultrasound in pregnancy. The research is unclear and far from conclusive on both sides, so I think this is a situation where you make the best decision you can. Articles like the above, however, seem to provide more finality than actually exists.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bracha04 View Post
@LilyTiger I also thought ultrasound scans were important because it might facilitate better treatment for the baby if something were wrong, but scientific evidence shows that this logic may not be true. This article details the results of detected abnormalities vs. undetected abnormalities:

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ultrasound.asp

In the study, the babies who were not diagnosed with ultrasound before birth were the babies who were more likely to survive, had higher birth weights, more successful treatments and had better outcomes. This really changed my thinking about needing to have ultrasounds and now it makes more sense to me for the baby to be evaluated after the birth.

We all have to find our own comfort level though! There are a lot of tough choices out there!
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#12 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 05:03 PM
 
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for my first 3 pregnancies, I only had an ultrasound at 20 weeks for the fetal scan (plus doppler checks at appointments if we are counting those). #4 and 5 have come after the age of 40 and I have been interested in getting the NT scan at 11-12 weeks in addition to the 20 week scan. I also had an early u/s around 8 weeks for #4 because I had a miscarriage a few months before that and I needed reassurance. The perinatal center that I go to also recommends further ultrasounds in the last trimester for women my age, but I declined those with #4 and will again with this one.

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#13 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 05:07 PM
 
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I had a dating u/s and one at 17 weeks. I will get another through a MFM practice at around 22 weeks, the level II u/s. Then probably another one or two later, possibly a fetal echocardiogram.

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#14 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my country, all babies are delivered in hospitals. Prenatal care consists of the choice of using a private doctor that do ultrasound scan at every appointment, which can end up being 20+ scans, or using the services at the public hospital, which nowadays is 2 scans and doppler at every visit. I'm only now aware of the research behind u/s but generally I feel low tech is better. I wonder if I can decline the doppler at those hospital appointments though. Is it necessary to listen to the heartbeat every time?

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#15 of 26 Old 07-11-2014, 08:24 PM
 
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I tried to limit ultrasounds, but it is tough for me, since I work in OB. I have had 3 so far (one dating scan because I was curious if it was twins) and two freebies at the hospital by my doctor friends (one was because I couldn't wait to find out the gender! BOY!!). I have my anatomy scan on Monday (because, as a newborn nurse that attends deliveries, it is reassuring for me to know ahead of time of any major anomalies, especially as a home birth mom... I don't like surprises! That said, there have been many things that ultrasound has missed that surprised us in the delivery room ( like harlequin ichthyosis-- a severe skin condition, or amniotic band amputations that developed after the anatomy scan and were therefore undetectable) and there have been things that were flat out wrong-- I can't tell you how many times estimated fetal weights were WAY off, or an oligohydramnios mother had tons of fluid, etc. It's not an exact science.

I usually always go past my due date as well, and so I will likely have to go for NSTs and BPP scans at 41 weeks as well.

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#16 of 26 Old 07-12-2014, 04:12 PM
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This being my first "real" pregnancy I was pretty uninformed and aloof when it came to U/S exposure. I really did feel like it was a smart/safe choice to limit the number of U/S I would get but immediately from the get-go my doctor insisted on having an early one since I had a miscarriage 4 years ago and no luck in getting pregnant since. The first U/S was a huge relief for DH and I, we couldn't believe we had a healthy baby in there.

Since then I have had two more U/S and will have my (hopefully final) and fourth U/S at 20 weeks.

I have read a lot about it and pretty much stand with LilyTiger on the matter. I have talked to friends about it, who were also trying to avoid U/S initially but I think we all went through the same pattern of questioning and then giving in for the sake of reassurance.
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#17 of 26 Old 07-12-2014, 04:26 PM
 
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While I agree we probably don't need as many USs done Drs want to give they can prevent complications too. If my friend (who is scheduled to give birth tomorrow) hadn't had her 20 weeks ultrasound she would have never known her baby has a severe heart defect that will require surgery days after birth. I like the reassurance that everything is ok and developing correctly!
@crunchymama I if not say this to be mean I just find it interesting that you receive dental X-rays but not u/s while pregnant. How many others I. Here get X-rays? I am very cautious about X-rays pregnant or not due to radiation.
@girlspn I forgot they did give me an ultrasound when I went into the hospital in active labor. Not sure why but since I was having painful contractions and not really clear headed I didn't decline or question it. I don't think they did this with my first pregnancy/labor.
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#18 of 26 Old 07-12-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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I agree with @apeydef on this one. My first pregnancy, I had 5 total ultrasounds and probably should have known more. They would've been able to monitor the things that led to my son's very short life. Now knowing that and my miscarriage history, US has become very vital for my husband and I to be able to stay on top of everything. Though if it's being done by a "tech" and not my primary caregiver, I'm stubborn and resistant.

Everyone has their own preferences, and I'm not here to push my beliefs on anyone. At the end of the day, do what you feel is right for you and baby.

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#19 of 26 Old 07-12-2014, 06:49 PM
 
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How many others I. Here get X-rays? I am very cautious about X-rays pregnant or not due to radiation.
I didn't have any x-rays during my first 5 pregnancies. This time around I've had a chest x-ray and a CT scan, since the risk of me dying from the suspected (then confirmed by CT) pulmonary embolism outweighed the potential risk to the fetus. I have a background in radiation physics and the radiologist and I had a good talk about any potential risks before I signed waiver after waiver. Not something I would have done for anything that wasn't potentially life-threatening.

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#20 of 26 Old 07-12-2014, 06:56 PM
 
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I didn't have any x-rays during my first 5 pregnancies. This time around I've had a chest x-ray and a CT scan, since the risk of me dying from the suspected (then confirmed by CT) pulmonary embolism outweighed the potential risk to the fetus. I have a background in radiation physics and the radiologist and I had a good talk about any potential risks before I signed waiver after waiver. Not something I would have done for anything that wasn't potentially life-threatening.
Well yes in your case I would have had an X-ray too!
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#21 of 26 Old 07-13-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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To clarify, I did not yet know I was pregnant when being present for ds for CT/MRI and the dental x-rays- both pregnancies were in the first month and I have long cycles. We weren't trying to conceive in either case. In an emergency, I would consider ultrasound or x-ray appropriate, as it is, I had to deal with some guilt both times after I got my positive test.
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#22 of 26 Old 07-13-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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Yes I know you said you didn't know you were pregnant yet, I'm just shocked that people on here get dental X-rays at all, but opt out of ultrasounds while pregnant. Just for your own health.
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#23 of 26 Old 07-13-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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X-rays scare me for sure, I know where you're coming from @apeydef . I'm scared to even be near the machines when I'm not getting one, honestly! But I'm not big on a lot of modern medicinal practices.. Such as medicating ourselves for singular symptoms (and in doing so, harming our bodies) instead of focusing on holistic care and making sure the system functions properly as a whole. Same general reasons whole foods make sense to me while supplements I am wary of.

I feel I've been coerced into too many U/S already.. The first one at 11 weeks to check for heartbeat, and the one at 16 weeks because I was spotting and it scared me. The doctors at the U/S lab said they couldn't quite do the full anatomy check since I was only at 16 weeks, but my midwife sounded like she was happy with the information that U/S provided so I will probably opt out of the one at 20/22 weeks .. I've already had more than the ONE I had planned on getting, and I can tell the baby does NOT like it at all. He's healthy and I know he will be fine. I'm trying not to make decisions based on fear.. I'm just trusting Mother Nature and having faith because so far all signs point to a beautiful healthy babe. Not that I'm saying that's the right thing to do in every situation, it's just what I feel comfortable with and what the universe is telling me to do for this particular baby.

Thank you all for sharing your honest opinions, it is really nice to get both sides of the story since I'm a first timer and although I had my own feelings/instincts about ultrasounds, I hadn't done much actual research. It's good to hear honest opinions from women who have had different experiences.

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#24 of 26 Old 07-13-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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@KatelynRose that is very important...try not to make decisions out of fear.
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#25 of 26 Old 07-13-2014, 04:00 PM
 
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i only planned on having an ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby....but things didn't go as i planned unfortunately. I had spotting at 9 weeks so even though I didn't want an ultrasound, it was very reassuring knowing baby was still in there, doing fine.
Then I had another one with my midwife, and then another at about 13 weeks because the spotting was from a cervical polyp and they needed to look into it more to see if it needs to be removed. And then I'll have one at 20 weeks to find out the sex. I hate how most traditional doctors offices really try to scare you into things....and also it made me mad how they kept saying how important it was to have the ultrasound regarding the cervical polyp at 13 weeks, but honestly I think we could have waited until i was 20 weeks and then done the anatomy scan and the scan for the polyp all at one time. It bothers me how they seem to just have their own protocol and don't really take into consideration my thoughts/concerns.
Luckily we are moving soon, so hopefully I can find another office to go to that I feel more comfortable with.
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#26 of 26 Old 07-15-2014, 10:17 AM
 
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I had one at 13 weeks for the NT screening, and have an anatomy scan set for next monday. I'm predicting that I'll go past my due date, and that they'll want to do one at some point toward the end, but we will see. I'd be happy to just have the anatomy scan next week and be done with it! It's fun and novel to see baby, but I don't feel like that's enough to warrant it, and I'm hoping there won't be a more urgent reason to do any more.

I had 3 with my first pregnancy, and 3 with my second.

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