why NOT do an ultrasound? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-08-2009, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Those of you who choose not to do an u/s, can you tell me your reasoning behind that?

I basically just want as simple and straightforward pregnancy as possible, with as little testing and obsessing as possible. I'm not opposed to prenatal visits, but I'm postponing scheduling any until the second trimester. I'm just not interested in a ultrasound this time around because

a. I don't think it's medically necessary for every pregnancy
b. we may be paying a lot of costs out of pocket
c. I don't want to accidentally find out the gender and
d. the "measurements" that they got from u/s with my first were totally inaccurate anyways and were used to fear-coax me into unnecessarily inducing labor

My partner is already about my not caring for an u/s because it's presented like a required part of pregnancy these days, and he's dismissing this as just part of my "hippy hoppity" nonsense (like CTA was which yes I totally screwed up and that's why we're pg, but that doesn't mean ALL natural family choices are bunk sorry /rant).

So I'm just wondering what your reasons are for not doing it. The u/s is not a hill on which I'm willing to be crucified on, so we may still do it as a compromise to help my partner feel secure and like he has some control in all this and yada yada to keep the peace.

Just want to know your perspectives so I have a little more to go on than "it's not necessary" when I talk to dp.

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:39 AM
 
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We are not doing any ultrasounds. (or doppler)

1). I do not feel they are safe. Yes, lots of people had them. Yes, I had a few with DS and he is just fine. But my gut feeling and research since then has led me to believe otherwise. There are many good medical books/links/articles out there that support this.

2). I don't feel there is a need. We are offered two routine scans here in the UK. One at 12 weeks and one at 20 weeks. The 12 weeks scan is for dating purposes. Well...babies come when they want to. We have been trying for awhile and I know, through charting, exactly when I ovulated. So I don't need a dating scan. But even if we had not been trying, I would at least have some rough idea of when it all happened based on when we did the deed - and none of those are so far out within a monthly cycle that they would give me a wacky due date...at the end of the day, as long as baby and me are fine, then they can come when they wish - as they usually do! lol The 20 weeks scan...I am not exactly sure what that is for tbh. I know a lot of people choose to find out the sex of their baby at this scan - but I also feel that this is not needed. I know I certainly do not desire to know. At the end of the day, baby will be what they will be and there is nothing I can do about that! Which also leads me to the other tests they tend to do around this time - my baby is perfect just the way they are because this is the baby I was given. I would never abort my child. So theres no point in having the scans for those tests either!

3). From personal experience - I feel so much more connected to this baby and my body not having had any ultrasounds. This can only be good - especially when it comes to birthing day!
- - - I did find out the sex at the 20 week scan I had with my DS. And at the time I felt I needed this. This was mainly due to the fact that he was unplanned and appeared at the worst time in both DH and I's life - though I wouldn't change a single thing about that, at the time, it felt like the worst time to suddenly find ones self expecting another human being due to the fact that we just got married, everything that was going on in my family and for financial reasons - etc. But being where I am now, I do wonder if I really did 'need' that. I just love this feeling of connection that I really have. And yeah - I do feel that having multiple scans, including those 3D/4D ones people get now can take away from the whole experience. But I think thats for individuals to discover because I am not sure I would have known that or believed it had this pregnancy not have happened the way it has!

3.1). I feel a lot of scans can be used to tell a woman what to do or what not to do - and this can take away from her being able to listen to her body and her baby = lack of connection. For me, this would not be good in the long run. I hear or some many woman who have had scans and come away worried about something that may or may not be...and will require a follow up scan (where everything usually is just fine! lol). The last thing I would want is unessisary stress and worry during pregnancy! - as I said, what will be will be a scan is not going to be able to do anything about that!

This will also be a home birth after c-section for us as well. We have even decided to go unassisted - though I am seeing a mw throughout my pregnancy. She isn't doing much but checking my pee and feeling my bump at our visits - but its good for her to know my 'birth plan' in case she is needed there.

Which brings me to...

4). There may be some 'medical' reasons why people feel the need to have an ultrasound scan (this is a very personal decision!). I feel that most of these medical reasons can survive the wait at least until it is considered a 'late' ultrasound scan (for the development of the baby and my own research and belief on why U/S are not safe, I feel this would be best). Some personal medical reasons that I am thinking of for my own body and baby might include placental position and baby position for example. But, through my own instincts and research - baby position will not be a problem (if I am in labour and I feel otherwise, then thats another story - but theres nothing a scan can do about that...not to mention babies frequently change position in labour so even a late scan can only tell you what is happened at that moment and not what will happen) - I feel confident enough that breech birth is just a variation of normal - no need to try to scare me ahead of time - that would certainly take away from being able to listen to my body in labour! ...and placenta position can be felt for by the MW (and myself in all honesty - if I work on that! lol) and if there is a complete previa (the only unbirthable kind of previa) - there are other signs of that as well, such as bleeding late in pregnancy. Placenta accretia (though its called something different in this country! lol) - can not be seen on an ultrasound scan (at least not in this country as I have been told many times by a variety of health care people here). My MWs do not feel worried about this at all though (becaues that possibility was my only concern with the placenta)- if placenta is unable to detach due to being rooted into my uterus, that just means I will have to go and have it surgically removed - but it shouldn't take away from my home birthing exeprience.

I am not fussed at all if anyone else wishes to get an ultrasound scan (I don't want my view to come off as narrowminded or offensive - your body, your choice!)! lol - For me this is a very personal thing. Some people feel that more good can come of a scan than not having one. I had multiple early miscarriages before this baby stuck, so I know the feeling and desire of wanting to know there is a life that is growing just fine in there. For me, I felt 'what will be will be' (I had been through it already and a few times over!) and if there was a healthy growing perfect little life in there this time, the last thing I wanted to do was to subject them to an ultrasound scan. For us, it is the right thing for our family, my body and this baby. So thats fine. I certainly do think its something worth thinking about though - especially any early ultrasound scans! If we were to have any ultrasound scan, it would be a very late one. At my first MW appointment we 'agreed' that a late U/S might be a good idea - but I have since changed my mind on that (hence #4).

My DH isn't fussed. He doens't need to know what sex our baby is (the only thing he would really get out of the scan! lol) - and it just means one less day he has to take off work which is all good to him as he can use the days for actual 'holidays' with his family then! lol

...and that got long but I think it has covered all my feelings on it lol

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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I have no reassurances on why to avoid ultrasound, as I am having ultrasounds...however I was thinking that if you wanted to reassure your dp, perhaps you could talk about under what conditions you would have an ultrasound, if any. Perhaps that would ease his mind. For instance, if you had intense pain and bleeding, or whatever it is that would cause you to accept an ultrasound.

4 kids under 10
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I think u/s can be a good tool in some cases, but there is no statistical advantage to routine u/s in a normal pregnancy. And there is some evidence in animal studies that there are some areas for concern. So why do it if there is no benefit and some possibility of risk.

Where I live, you get only one routine u/s at about 20 weeks as the norm, and they will not reveal gender because they don't want people getting scanned for non-medical reasons.

I think there are a few reasons u/s has become so ubiquitous . One is that it is a liability for doctors if technology is available, they don't use it, and a problem is later revealed. Another is that most women seem to want to get one, to get a peek at the baby. And another is that hospitals, especially in the US, need to justify having the expensive machines.

I have to say, what I really don't like about them is the attitude it creates in society toward pregnancy. THe idea that things are not "ok" until the tech confirms it. I know moms who are terrified at 5 weeks that there might be something wrong because they cannot see what is going on or pick up a heartbeat until later. There is a tendency to tell moms it is ok to calm these fears by getting lots of tests, buying a doppler, etc. But I think ultimately these things make the situation worse, not better. We cannot learn to trust our bodies, or to accept that we do not always have control. So we comfort ourselves with an illusion of control, and it is an illusion.

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Old 12-08-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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Sorry for answering although I do have my us. But though I would give you some alternative opinions:

I saw my DH connect much more with the pregnancy and the baby from seeing the baby on us. It suddenly became real to him in a very different way especially since he cannot feel kicks yet. I can feel the pregnancy and the baby from "day one", the dad cannot. I find it important to give the father a chance to become involved and "feel" the baby as early as possible. I believe that may make them better fathers, both during the pregnancy and after.

Here they will only look for sex if the parents ask for it.

I also felt very safe seeing the baby developing normally and that there are no prenatal fatal conditions detected - such as brain outside the head, severe heart conditions, hernias etc.

Personally I do not believe that there are any risks caused by us. After 20 years experience they would have found out by now.

The only reason I would opt out on us is because of the dating, as I have good knowledge of my cycle and because it overrule "my" due date in all official papers - both for the hospital and social system when my parental leave is calculated.

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Old 12-08-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/weighing-ri...out-ultrasound

I read this article when I was pregnant with my daughter. I didn't see the reason for more ultrasounds after that, which visibly angered the OB I was seeing at the time. (He had his own ultrasound machine in his office, and turning it on at every appointment was a few hundred dollars more per visit into his pocketbook.)

This time I had an ultrasound for dating purposes, but that's it. (I had recently had my IUD removed, and I got pregnant before I had a normal period to base things off of.)

It's funny, how many times I have to explain to the same people that I'm not having ultrasounds, and then they still ask when I'm having my next one. In the US, it's such a bizarre idea to not have constant ultrasounds that people can't even grasp the concept.

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9yo and brand new as of 4/28/10!
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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I planned one (at 20-ish weeks) for this pregnancy. My reason was because we were planning a homebirth, I wanted to make sure there wasn't anything overt that would necessitate a hospital delivery (I'm a freak and read all the things that are crazy defects w/baby - you know, like having the intestines develop outside the body - be better to be in a hospital for that), though I know there could still be something else that happens that maybe a hospital delivery would be better. Just seems like any overt anatomical issues would give us a heads up to where to birth, to some extent. But beyond that I don't expect to have another. Last time I had a second ultrasound because I fell down the stairs, so we wanted to make sure the baby and placenta was ok.

I have to agree with others - there's a medical place for them, but they aren't necessary, generally, and potentially risky. I guess my compromise was having ONE, just to check things out. It felt marginally safer to me, since I'm birthing at home.

That said, it was absurdly expensive ($500! all deductible!) *sigh*

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Old 12-08-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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this is my third pregnancy, first homebirth, first time without an u/s. i had just one each with the other two. I don't feel like dh connected any more to the other babies by seeing the u/s images--they were just fuzzy black and white blobs, no more connection than watching tv, IMO. he connected when he held his babies for the first time. I certainly didn't feel more bonded afterwards...however, i knew the gender of my kids and could shop without "fear".

it has worried me, as other pp have said, that there may be an abnormality that would be better handled if i delivered in a hospital. but, i feel that anything serious will be dectected rather soon after birth, and the hospital isn't too far away. also, i feel like it is better for me to not know there is something wrong, at this point. I am a natural worrier, and stress out about things out of my control. if i knew baby had a heart problem, or wouldn't survive long after birth, I think I wouldn't be able to connect and bond with my baby. I want to enjoy this pregnancy adn every minute I have with my baby, and not have sad expectations. Also, u/s cannot detect everything that could be a potential danger, so having one with "normal" results does not guarantee a healthy baby.

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by laughingfox View Post
http://www.mothering.com/weighing-ri...out-ultrasound

In the US, it's such a bizarre idea to not have constant ultrasounds that people can't even grasp the concept.
Yeah, I think that is really what it is with my partner. I'm not worried about him bonding with the babe, he's very empathetic and has already been sending good vibes to the babe with his warm, loving hands. Here in the US, it's standard to have at least two u/s and often more throughout the pregnancy--I think for my dp he just thinks it's really radical to not do an u/s and that kind of scares him?

If the attitude were different here, like how pps have said in their homes, then I might be more willing. But I do hate that everyone expects us to do it, almost like you're negligent for not doing it. They start clicking the size measurements and checking sex immediately. And like I said, with my first their size measurements were wrong, which they used to pressure me into early induction.

To the last poster, I'm with you about not being able to handle the extra worry. I don't want to obsess!

I guess it's one of those pregnancy decisions that we will decide when we come to it, I just don't like my dp's attitude about it, like I'm being crazy for not wanting one, and that it's really necessary to "find out"' if our baby is healthy. I might do it for his peace of mind, though, I'm still deciding.

ETA Wow, I just read that article! I'm going to ask dp to read it, too, next time the topic comes up.

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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I see SOOOO much unnecessary worry centered around the routine anatomy scan. So many "so what" findings that are just stressful for no good reason.

I am not totally convinced of the safety of ultrasound. There's enough doubt in my mind to make an impact on my decisions. Even if you don't believe that the studies showing issues in vitro are valid in real-world terms, there are many other things in our lives that we are assured are safe but we know aren't. It's a little odd of us to greet the claims of vaccine safety with skepticism and embrace "they're safe" for ultrasounds. How many other things have been "safe" in the past...and then weren't? Pelvic xrays were done on pregnant women for more than 20 years, too. Not always routine (although in some time periods they were), but not with particular caution.

There are many things wrong with our modern lives and we don't know which are responsible for any number of rising illnesses. So I'll take reasonable steps to remove myself from some of those things. I don't feel like the ultrasound is necessary for me (if there was a reason to get one, I would), so I'm not getting one.

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Old 12-08-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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OP, your reasons sound very similar to my own, except that this is my first pregnancy, so i don't have experience with previous U/S.

just wanted to throw in support for your decision.

so far, any concern we've brought up to my HB MWs, like undiagnosed placenta previa or breech, has been met with gentle and confident answers that put our minds at ease.

i agree with a PP, my husband's concern was greatly allayed when we openly discussed situations under which a U/S would be something we might feel we need. if we come up with anything new, we'll ask our MWs about it too.

me+him for 15 yrs, welcomed our little one march 25th, 2010.

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Old 12-08-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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OP - I agree with your listed reason for not getting one, especially the cost part. We've got an HSA plan this time around with a higher deductible than we're used to, so I'm highly motivated to not pay for things we don't need.

I had two my first pregnancy, one because dh wanted to know the sex, and the second after a late freakout when I measured a little big, and a back-up midwife made me think I couldn't have a homebirth if I was measuring too far off.

My other reason is this -- I liked seeing the baby the first time, that was good, but it really felt intrusive. Like, that was the baby's private space, and here was this big machine barging in to snoop around.

And then the second time, the ultrasound tech wouldn't let dh or my midwife in for a long time (said it was protocol, but the first time the tech was fine with them) and proceeded to tell me all about her c-sections while she had me alone in there. That kind of gave me a bad taste in my mouth about the whole experience. So this time I'm not planning on one.

I don't really have a problem with other people getting one or two, but I do think we would all be wise to look at routine tests like this in the context of the big health care debate. One thing we can all do to keep costs down is to look critically at what's offered and refusing the stuff we really don't want or need.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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I'll just throw in there that I wasn't going to have one this time around, but the mw thought there might be twins when I was describing movement to her and she thought the heart sounded different in different places. This would totally change our whole birth plan, as she cannot deliver twins legally at home. She cuold lose her license.

So we rushed out to have one and it was only one. One really big one! My only thing was if it had been two, it would have been much easier to prepare for it at 18 or 20 weeks than at 30 weeks.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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I had only one U/S at 25 weeks. It was helpful for me to see that my baby was doing well, to see where the placenta is, the length of the cervix and that all of her organs were functional.

From all the research I did, I found that multiple U/S (like more than 10) have been linked to developmental problems. Basically, it seems that the high frequency microwaves of an U/S can create tiny pockets of air in tissue and halt development. Well, that is my very lay person understanding of it.

We asked our ultrasound technician, an incredibly skilled woman, to do the shortest us she could and still assess all the necessary medical things she could. It lasted less than 15 minutes and was 2D only (ie black and white). It was amazing to see my daughters heart beat, with 4 chambers, and to see her little hands, and kidneys.

I could see and feel that she could feel or hear the U/S waves and it was irritating to her. She put her hands up to her face when the U/S was focused near her head. I asked the technician not to focus on her face or head, except for a very minimum of time. I stroked my belly and her during the U/S and talked to her to keep connected and to soothe her.

It was worth it, as a first time mom, doing a homebirth, to be reassured that we are in a good position for a homebirth. I think one time was not hugely impactful on her, but I am sure it was impactful to some extent.

That is my experience! Hope it helps.

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Old 12-08-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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i am having one u/s. basically, u/s haven't been proven safe, nor have they been proven unsafe. it is one of MANY questionable practices during gestation.

in my humble opinion, there ARE a few good reason to have one at 18-20ish weeks, and while it may not be necessary, i feel it is worth the one.

1. it can help confirm the date, although it isn't 100% accurate.

2. if you are skipping prenatal testing, as i am, it can alert you to certain major birth defects (again, not 100% accurate. but for instance, could detect a hole in the heart, something that may require a neonatologist at the birth)

3. it can show that you have placenta previa, a dangerous condition for you and baby

4. lastly, it can show more than one baby. good info to know :-)

married to DH for 5 yrs, ds born at home 6/26/10
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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i am having one u/s. basically, u/s haven't been proven safe, nor have they been proven unsafe. it is one of MANY questionable practices during gestation.

in my humble opinion, there ARE a few good reason to have one at 18-20ish weeks, and while it may not be necessary, i feel it is worth the one.

1. it can help confirm the date, although it isn't 100% accurate.

2. if you are skipping prenatal testing, as i am, it can alert you to certain major birth defects (again, not 100% accurate. but for instance, could detect a hole in the heart, something that may require a neonatologist at the birth)

3. it can show that you have placenta previa, a dangerous condition for you and baby

4. lastly, it can show more than one baby. good info to know :-)
Yeah, I forgot about previa... that's one I'd definitely want to know - especially birthing at home (but even w/a hospital birth, you'd start hemorraging when your cervix started dilating, so could be very scary)

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Old 12-09-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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Yeah, I forgot about previa... that's one I'd definitely want to know - especially birthing at home (but even w/a hospital birth, you'd start hemorraging when your cervix started dilating, so could be very scary)
There are usually other indications of placenta previa prior to birth.

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Old 12-09-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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There are usually other indications of placenta previa prior to birth.
I'm sure. I'm not trying to say that everyone should have an ultrasound... I guess it's just that having *one* makes me feel slightly better. But on principle I agree with everyone else, that there is potential for risk inherent in the ultrasound, and they should be used mindfully.

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Old 12-09-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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For me:

I've had two healthy normal pregnancies with no problems whatsoever. With my DS, we had the typical pregnancy screening blood work done, neither DH or I have any markers for any chromosomal issues.

I see SO much unnecessary worry about u/s findings. A part of the baby being .05 mm off what it "should" be, things like that that just seem to create worry and nerves and needless stress.

I've seen stories of OB's moving a due date by as much as TWO WEEKS based on u/s dating, even though the mom knows to the day which day she conceived. This is just setting someone up for induction for being "overdue" when that's not even remotely the case. U/s is not the be all, end all for gestational dating. Later ones scare moms into thinking their babies are just "too big" to deliver. They were more than an entire pound off when I had one done when my daughter was 10 days "late" (granted, the u/s said she was 9lbs 2 oz, when she was born at 10lbs 4 oz )

The only thing I was concerned about with my decision to not get any is a heart defect. My midwife's thoughts were that many heart defects go undetected until after birth, and that's sometimes hours after birth. We are 5 minutes from a hospital and ten minutes from a dozen hospitals. If we have issues, we can be there FAST.

Previa - I've had no spotting ever, no reason to think previa would be an issue.

It's not proven safe, but not proven unsafe as someone said. For me, for my third pregnancy, the potential benefits just aren't there for me to want to get one unless something came up that suggested one might be helpful.

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Old 12-09-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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I've seen stories of OB's moving a due date by as much as TWO WEEKS based on u/s dating, even though the mom knows to the day which day she conceived.
Me too. For some reason, this almost always seems to happen when the mother is due around a holiday..

I'm not an expert, but as far as I know, whether or not a 18-20 week ultrasound shows placenta previa is not a failsafe indicator of whether the placenta will cover the cervix or not at birthtime. The uterus gets stretched out a lot in those next 20 weeks, and the placenta gets bigger, so the position can change.
I wouldn't want to be paranoid about a placenta that was low-lying at 18-20 weeks, but I also wouldn't want to write off the possibility of placenta previa based on what an ultrasound from that time frame showed, and wind up ignoring possible warning signs later.

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Old 12-09-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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We are not doing US or doppler.

The reasons are fairly straighforward.
1) US can bring a lot of worry into the situation if everything does not look "perfect". Usually those babies are fine, and it wouldn't change anything for us if we did find something wrong.
2) I'm not convinced they are safe.
3) I've heard many stories of babies moving away from the US and doppler, which makes me think they don't like it. Anecdotal, but...

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Old 12-09-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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from what I understand a doppler has even more radiation than an ultrasound?

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Old 12-09-2009, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the more I think about it and read, even the anecdotal stuff, the less I want to do it. I talked to dp again, and it's weird how he clams up so much about this. I told him that if he really, really feels it's necessary, that I would do it for his peace of mind. I don't want to be the hardliner who won't compromise on ANYthing (because there are bigger issues that I will absolutely refuse to compromise on, like planning homebirth and no circ), and I do want him to feel involved and like he does have some decision-making.

BUT I'm going to insist that he reads the article above that pp posted. And the other pps post about how she could tell the us was irritating her dd, she kept covering her face. I'm going to talk to him about when/why we would get an u/s, like if I were bleeding or our midwife was concerned.

docs here don't listen. If you try to tell them "the lowest dose u/s please" they'll just roll their eyes and even crank it up because they like to swing their "doc" around.

The prob is that I really don't want to do this. I really hope dp doesn't try to pressure me into doing it. We don't have a midwife, yet, and my experience with midwives here is that they are, sadly, pretty "medical". So if I had him on one side and a midwife on the other, it would be pretty hard to stick to my guns. And I want to avoid the fear/pressure to induce that may come if our baby reads "big" on the screen. I'm tiny, and even w/ dd there was pressure there and fear that was difficult for me to ignore because they kept saying, based on the u/s, that she was going to be HUGE. She was just under six pounds, and induced. She could've done well to "cook" longer, kwim?

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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I'm sure. I'm not trying to say that everyone should have an ultrasound... I guess it's just that having *one* makes me feel slightly better. But on principle I agree with everyone else, that there is potential for risk inherent in the ultrasound, and they should be used mindfully.
I certainly wouldn't be worried about the placenta at a scan between 18-20 weeks though. And all the other things you listed are also things that can and I feel are better looked for, if one really desires the one scan, very late in pregnancy - like around 35 weeks instead of between 18 and 20. The placeta is still moving around at the usual 20 week scan and can indeed not be settled at all where it will end up. Quite a handful of people have a previa at the 20 week scan which only means they will need one then later on in pregnancy to see if it has moved...so I feel if you are going for just one, best to skip it at 20 weeks then and look later.

But this is also something your m/w should be able to feel and listen for (even with a pinard) - without the need of a scan. And as mentioned, also other signs there might be a complete previa - such as bleeding. A scan can not detect accreta.

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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3) I've heard many stories of babies moving away from the US and doppler, which makes me think they don't like it. Anecdotal, but...
My son certainly did! - He would cover his face with his hands anytime it was brought near him (as seen on U/S). What worried me about this is that, if breech or other undesirable position is presented, then baby can perhaps be put in and even more undesirable position - eventually they can't move around as freely lol.

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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The prob is that I really don't want to do this. I really hope dp doesn't try to pressure me into doing it.
Based on this, I really hope you just don't do it. I know for me, it's not good for my marriage when I do things I really don't want to do because dh wants me to.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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My son certainly did! - He would cover his face with his hands anytime it was brought near him (as seen on U/S). What worried me about this is that, if breech or other undesirable position is presented, then baby can perhaps be put in and even more undesirable position - eventually they can't move around as freely lol.
Yes, my two kids both "ran" from the u/s every time and my dd covered her face very obviously at the u/s I had right before I had her. This little one very obviously reacts to the doppler; if s/he is asleep, s/he wakes up instantly and pushes very hard against the doppler and then "swims" to the opposite side of my belly. As soon as the doppler is gone, the movements stop or get less...I don't want to say frantic, but just less. I'm very grateful that my midwife listens for less than a minute with the doppler at each appointment, because my gut tells me it's doing something that the baby doesn't like.

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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I certainly wouldn't be worried about the placenta at a scan between 18-20 weeks though. And all the other things you listed are also things that can and I feel are better looked for, if one really desires the one scan, very late in pregnancy - like around 35 weeks instead of between 18 and 20. The placeta is still moving around at the usual 20 week scan and can indeed not be settled at all where it will end up. Quite a handful of people have a previa at the 20 week scan which only means they will need one then later on in pregnancy to see if it has moved...so I feel if you are going for just one, best to skip it at 20 weeks then and look later.

But this is also something your m/w should be able to feel and listen for (even with a pinard) - without the need of a scan. And as mentioned, also other signs there might be a complete previa - such as bleeding. A scan can not detect accreta.
Yeah, but you can see other things on the anatomy easier at 18-20, from what I understand (genetic diseases? lack of diaphragm/hole in it/whatever - I watched too many of the crazy birth shows. ) and it's early enough to decide on weird surgeries or whatever. I wouldn't be worried about previa at that point, but knowing if i had it, I might consider another later scan to check if it was partial or complete. Say at 38 weeks or something (I tend to go late). I wouldn't be doing an ultrasound a week or anything to see if it moved, like I've heard of some doctors doing...

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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I've never had any ultrasounds during pregnancy.

They have not been proven to be 100% safe for the baby.

There have been no proven benefits to "routine" ultrasounds- no actual improvements in outcomes for women who have had ultrasounds vs women who have not.

There's a very good chance of false positives- the doctor thinks she sees something wrong with your baby, orders more tests, you worry and panic from the time you hear the first results until everything is later proven to be OK.

Why risk the negatives (potential physical harm from ultrasounds itself and the more possible emotional harm from false positives) when there aren't any concrete benefits? It's all risk and no benefit!

I certainly would have consented to an ultrasound (or more than one) in case of a true medical indication- at that point the real benefits would likely outweigh the potential risks.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Mama, what I'm hearing loudest from your posts is worry and trauma from what happened to you last time. I'm sorry that happened to you.

Have a discussion with your partner about what you've said here. He may understand your fears as related to the previous experience you had.

Also, maybe a laundry list of all things that might be discovered in an ultrasound, the rate of occurrence and what you would do anyway if you did discover something (brain anencephaly, genetic defects, etc.). If you come to different answers about whether you'd terminate the pregnancy, you may have a whole lot more to talk about. I know you realize the risk of these things is very small, but perhaps from his POV he wants to find out even if the risks are small because they would be a big deal for him.

Maybe like you've heard anecdotally that your friends' babies have moved away from u/s, he could have heard things anecdotally too that cause him fear. Like my friend who three weeks ago discovered a genetic abnormality incompatible with life at her 18 week ultrasound. Talk, talk, talk!

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