I am really struggling with a decision about having an ultrasound. Any thoughts? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 01-29-2013, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had an ultrasound at 6 weeks to determine my exact due date, since I have very long cycles. I was worried about going over 42 weeks, when I wasn't really overdue and risking out of my birth-center. I was thinking that that would be my only visual ultrasound. My MW used a Doppler twice to hear the heartbeat, so now I have had a total of 3 ultrasounds, if you count the Doppler. My MW will use a feta-scope from here on out, since I am 25 weeks and the heartbeat can now be heard clearly without the Doppler.

 

My husband and I are both really worried about the how the ultrasounds will affect the development of the fetus, and about the loud sound waves that our fetus would be exposed to. I opted out of the 20 week anatomy scan, but today I just started crying with worry, and am thinking about getting an ultrasound soon. I follow a gluten and dairy free diet (which would limit my folic acid sources a little), and threw up my prenatal every time I took it during the first trimester, because I was so sick that I couldn't drink water. I am worried about neural tube defects, because I had very little folic acid during this time. I am mainly worried about anencephaly, because my brother in law was just just diagnosed with the MTHFR gene mutation, which increases the risk for this anencephaly. My husband has not been tested for this gene mutation. I would really want to prepare myself emotionally for something like this, but I think I am just going crazy with hypothetical scenarios that probably are not the case.

 

Since I know there are a lot of well-educated Mommas out there, I was hoping someone could help me weight the pros and cons. I really wanted to limit ultrasounds, but this is really weighing on me emotionally. My husband feels very strongly that he does not want an additional ultrasound, but says he will support my decision in the end.

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#2 of 13 Old 01-29-2013, 11:45 PM
 
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I have the MTHFR gene mutation.  I have 3 children, almost 12, 10, and 7.  I just found out about the mutation recently.  I did not take prenatals because they made me sick. Now that I know that I can't process the folate that is probably why.  I take vessel care by a company called metagenics.  It is very good and I am starting to feel better for the first time in years.  

 

As far as the ultrasound goes you need to weigh the benefits to the possible risks.  I had the ultrasound with all 3 kids, and with my youngest I had the 3d one at about 34 weeks.  They were looking for signs of placental abruption that i had with my 2nd.  She was exposed to more of the ultrasonic waves than the other 2 kids were and she is my only neuro typical one.  (The others have forms of Autism)  She was also not immunized and I have avoided many more allergens with her.  (Gluten, Soy, Milk, Eggs.)

 

I would be more concerned about post birth toxins than the ultrasound.  That is my opinion.  I hope you are well, and good luck on the greatest adventure.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-30-2013, 12:26 AM
 
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I think that if you're that worried about it then the effects of the stress hormones are likely to be more detrimental than the ultrasound. I too limit ultrasounds but, in the circumstances you describe I would have one.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#4 of 13 Old 01-30-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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If you are worried about something specific, then that would be a check on the yes column. What you should do is ask yourself what the results of this potential scan would do for your mentally. What would it tell you? What could you do about whatever the determination may be? What does it change? 

 

You may be the type of person that above all wants it done, okay, fine. But what are you going to do with any negative information and how will you handle the rest of your pregnancy if it shows there are problems? What if baby still comes out fine and the U/S was read wrong? Or better yet, if the scan shows all clear and baby shows up with problems?

 

Just like you do not know if the U/S waves are causing any problems within your baby and whether or not baby will be sensitive enough to react to what was done to him/her while in the womb. You also don't know what the increased cortisol levels in your body from worry will be doing. Only you can make the best determination for you and your baby. Only your baby, upon birth, will have the answers and they won't always be revealed right away. 

 

I know this ins't a yes or no answer, like you were ultimately hoping, but I hope it gives you some things to think about...ultimately helping you make your own decision.  Good luck!


Tina            Wife to 1, Mother to 3, and Doula to Many                        
Your Body...Your Birth...Your Way...
Advocating for Evidenced Based Maternity Care and Birth Practices
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#5 of 13 Old 02-03-2013, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. I decided to have the ultrasound, scheduled at 28 weeks. It was not worth the worry to me, and I think it is pretty unlikely that they would miss something like anencephaly on the ultrasound. Its a pretty obvious structural abnormality. Things like down syndrome/ cleft palate/ missing fingers don't really concern me as much, because the fetus would still live, so false positives in that regard don't worry me as much as the worry I was experiencing.

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#6 of 13 Old 02-03-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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Hey! You guys might want to look into these prenatals... http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/supplements.aspx#Prenatal

 

I took these during my pregnancy. He strongly opposes folic acid due to its unnatural chemical makeup and the side-effects it's been shown to cause.

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#7 of 13 Old 02-04-2013, 12:58 AM
 
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Glad you've made a decision you're happy with. Most ultrasound stats in Australia list anencephaly as 100% detectable so, as long as you're at an accredited facility I think it would definitely be detected. Especially at 28 weeks.

All the best.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#8 of 13 Old 02-04-2013, 04:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by colomomma View Post

Thanks ladies. I decided to have the ultrasound, scheduled at 28 weeks. It was not worth the worry to me, and I think it is pretty unlikely that they would miss something like anencephaly on the ultrasound. Its a pretty obvious structural abnormality. Things like down syndrome/ cleft palate/ missing fingers don't really concern me as much, because the fetus would still live, so false positives in that regard don't worry me as much as the worry I was experiencing.

I think that is a great choice.


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#9 of 13 Old 02-04-2013, 06:00 AM
 
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Fwiw, you can absolutely limit the length and scope Of the U/s, if you wish. you have the right to say that you are specifically looking for XYZ, and don't want to spend any extra time looking for other things.

You're the patient means- you are the one in charge. Good luck!

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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#10 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just found out I am carrying a healthy baby girl! Thanks for the advice, mommas! I feel so relieved now.

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#11 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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OP, I didnt/dont do any ultrasounds or the dopplar.  The ultrasound does not give anyone any info that is valuable other than if the baby is twins or not!  Lol.  it has not been shown to improve birth outcomes at all, and if they do find a defect, they cant do anything about it til birth anyway!!  The long term effects of US's have not been studied AT ALL.  So no one knows if it increases a certain type of cancer or whatever, nothing has ever been researched, they are just assumed safe, I think it's unnatural.  I dont think u need to worry about neural tube defects from lack of folate, it is stressed way too much, and unless you are malnourished, your body has enough of it stored!!  Oranges and orange juice are also excellent sources, did u eat any of those?  Prenatal vitamins always make it seem like u need way more folate than the  recommended daily value for a non-pregnant person when in reality you dont!  400mcg ( think that's the right label?) is the same amount recommended to pregnant women but prenatal double it just for selling purposes.  "Our prenatal has more folate than theirs!"   Lol.  Anyway, and the only prenatal I ever threw up was a synthetic one, which does nothing for your body or baby anyway, they are fake,  Unless you're taking a whole foods based prenatal u might as well not be taking one at all.

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#12 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

OP, I didnt/dont do any ultrasounds or the dopplar.  The ultrasound does not give anyone any info that is valuable other than if the baby is twins or not!  Lol.  it has not been shown to improve birth outcomes at all, and if they do find a defect, they cant do anything about it til birth anyway!!  The long term effects of US's have not been studied AT ALL.  So no one knows if it increases a certain type of cancer or whatever, nothing has ever been researched, they are just assumed safe, I think it's unnatural.  I dont think u need to worry about neural tube defects from lack of folate, it is stressed way too much, and unless you are malnourished, your body has enough of it stored!!  Oranges and orange juice are also excellent sources, did u eat any of those?  Prenatal vitamins always make it seem like u need way more folate than the  recommended daily value for a non-pregnant person when in reality you dont!  400mcg ( think that's the right label?) is the same amount recommended to pregnant women but prenatal double it just for selling purposes.  "Our prenatal has more folate than theirs!"   Lol.  Anyway, and the only prenatal I ever threw up was a synthetic one, which does nothing for your body or baby anyway, they are fake,  Unless you're taking a whole foods based prenatal u might as well not be taking one at all.

 

Routine ultrasound diagnosed my placenta previa and helped me to get more appropriate care - without it, I might have thought my bleeding was trivial and could be ignored (I'd never heard of placenta previa until I had it).  I know plenty of other women who have had fetal health problems diagnosed and then treated at birth.  There are some prenatal treatments for certain neural tube defects.  Information about possible risk to the baby may also influence the choice of birth place - if the baby has, for example, a heart defect that might need surgery at birth, you'd want to give birth someplace that had that capability (which might mean travel, or might just mean not laboring at home).  It may be that most ultrasounds do little, but some ultrasounds save lives, and I don't think that can be underestimated.

 

OP, I'm glad you came to a decision you're at peace with.  Congratulations on your little girl!

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#13 of 13 Old 02-21-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually I threw up literally everything but soda, so no. I did not have any orange juice, because I was so sick I couldn't drink even water. I was malnourished, I was malnourished my entire childhood and adulthood. I have lots of food absorption problems. There is no folic acid in soda, which was the only thing I was consuming, to keep me out of the hospital for dehydration. I didn't have any prenatal for that matter, because I threw it up even the chewables, the food-based ones, every kind under the sun. And the type of defects I was worried about, and that run in my family, something can be done about it- you can plan a funeral, you can arrange a photographer to come to your birth a photograph the few hours you can spend with your child alive. The lack of the malformation I was worried about was the first thing I saw on the ultrasound. Her little skull/brain was very present and well-formed.
 

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