Question about a "technique" used during an ultrasound. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-25-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Monday I had my mid-pregnancy anatomy scan with an sonographer in my OB's office.  During the scan, whenever the baby was in a position which prohibited her from getting the pictures she wanted, she would take the wand against my stomach, and briskly pump it up and down against my stomach-think churning butter at turbo speed-for 10-15 seconds each time (and not gently), and it happened 4 times. 


This is my 5th pregnancy, so I have had multiple ultrasounds, with multiple individuals doing them, in different offices-and I have never had anyone do anything like this.  Having a few days to think about it, my gut is telling me that she shouldn't be doing that as a means to change baby's position.  Fortunately, I have an anterior placenta, so I feel that the baby was likely adequately shielded from any harm, but if I didn't, I think I would be really concerned at having my stomach so harshly jostled like that.


I'm debating on whether or not to write and letter or speak with my OB.  If this is something that is generally considered "safe" to do, I don't want to go making waves unnecessarily. I wish I would have spoken up at the time, but I am not good at asserting myself when I haven't prepared myself beforehand for potentially needing to.


Any insight or opinions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 4 amazing girls, an awesome little boy, and a little surprise making a debut this winter.
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#2 of 3 Old 04-25-2013, 01:36 PM
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It can't hurt to bring it up your OB, but I would take the tone of inquiry rather than accusation. I experienced something similar and had thought nothing of it until now.

My tech needed a better view of my cervix, told me she was going to push the baby up a bit, and did so with her hand. Then, when she needed both hands to operate the machine, I offered to hold the baby's head up myself so it wouldn't slide back down to block her view.

Later, she also pushed harder and pulled with pressure using the wand in some areas, presumably to get a better view, such as when she was angling back to get a view of my anterior placenta. The wand was pushing into my belly a good inch.

This was at a very well known and respected perinatalist's office, and she was definitely not just some inexperienced or insensitive hack. This practice has written BOOKS on U/S technology and techniques, and they specialize in high risk cases.

This leads me to believe this is common practice. Also keep in mind techniques to reposition babes like "spinning babies." If you can jostle a fetus from breech to presenting head first without injuring it, I can't imagine a few pokes are hurtful! But only you can judge how much force was used by your tech.

I will concede that my belly was sore for the day after both my last US's--- probably from the less than gentle touch.

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#3 of 3 Old 04-25-2013, 07:22 PM
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I doubt there could be harm to baby from such a technique, but it does sound uncomfortable for both mum and baby. At my anatomy scans, when they've needed to change position, they've tied jostling the wand a bit (but nothing like what you're describing), having me roll onto my side, and asking me to go to the toilet. While I highly doubt that this tech could harm the baby using the churning/pumping method, it sounds unpleasant, and he/she should be made aware that there are other much more comfortable ways to encourage baby to change position. I'd speak to the OB and relay that from your past experiences and the experiences of many other women you've spoken with, there are other/better ways, and specifically ask that the OB mention your conversation to the tech. If the tech actually upset or hurt you, I'd go the route of the formal letter and also discuss it with the OB.
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