Missed my 20 week anatomy scan - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-18-2014, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok first off, I have to tell myself I'm not a bad mom lol- i'm a new and confused mom.


So I am currently 24 weeks pregnant. I am seeing my midwife for the first time this saturday- when i will be 25 weeks pregnant.

I have not had an anatomy scan- the reason being, I just thought it was optional, stupid, I know, I did have a 3'd scan at a gender place at 16/17 weeks, where we went just to find out the gender, nothing medical.  My baby girl was happy as a clam, has 5 fingers on each hand, looking healthy.  I've been reading about the anatomy scan and false positives about baby abnormalities and such, and I wonder, what can they do if there is an abnormality? I'm not going to abort my baby.  I am planning on getting one now but is 25 weeks too late? I keep reading that it should be fine because some moms have to go back for a followup because they couldn't get all the information they needed at 20-22 weeks.  


Please be nice! 


What was your latest anatomy scan?

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#2 of 7 Old 02-18-2014, 01:13 PM
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It is optional! I never had one with my daughter... The only downside was that that was the only one that would have been covered by my insurance. I did end up with several in my third trimester, expensive!
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#3 of 7 Old 02-18-2014, 01:19 PM
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Totally optional imo. I only had it with #6. I used a homebirth midwife with the first five and we never bothered with US, except a few times at the end to make sure a "late" baby was still doing okay. With the ob, they want to do them and I was fine with that but guess what? Little miss did not want to cooperate. She had her spine posterior and it took us several tries to get a good picture of her and that was way into 32 weeks or something like that. Of course, the bigger the baby gets the harder it is to get a good picture but you should be totally fine getting in now or in the next few weeks if you want.

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#4 of 7 Old 02-18-2014, 01:26 PM
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Unless they consider you high risk, all US and most tests are optional. There are *plenty* of mamas who opt for NO ultrasound whatsoever wink1.gif

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#5 of 7 Old 02-19-2014, 06:27 AM
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I agree, they are optional. My midwife always gives me a choice of whether I want to do each test that is available along with some pros and cons for me to consider. That said most people who opt out of the anatomy scan do so to avoid the potential negative side effects of ultrasound rays. Since you already had a 3d one I'm thinking that doesn't apply so you may as well go and get an anatomy one too. I am one of the people who had to go back for a re-scan because some parts of my baby could not be seen due to their position. My re-scan was around 27 weeks I believe.


It is something you need to decide for yourself. One of the reasons I went back for the re-scan was because we are planning a homebirth and they were not able to see parts of the heart well enough. Since heart defects are one possible reason to consider a hospital birth we decided to do it. As you say there's not necessarily anything they can do to fix any issues your baby might have but it may affect your place of birth. For example if you are doing a homebirth or using a birth center. Also hospitals vary in what equipment they have available for babies with health problems so for certain issues they may not have what they need to care for an ill baby or may need to transport them to another hospital right away for treatment. Some parents like to have the information ahead of time to prepare, in case you need extra time off work, any treatments/operations, or any other accommodations for transporting or caring for baby.


That said it is totally up to you - DH and I had to discuss each time whether to do the scan or not. Both times we decided to but there were other tests we did opt out of such as the early nuchal fold test and the glucose test for gestational diabetes. Something to consider is the false positive rate of each test, what the implications for your pregnancy and/or birth would be, any side effects of the test itself.

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#6 of 7 Old 02-20-2014, 04:12 PM
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Yep, agree with pp's... I didn't have a single ultrasound with my daughter who is now a happy healthy 21 month old and was born at home with no complications whatsoever. It is really something you'd want to research and make the decision that is right for you and your baby. There are risks associated with ultrasounds which doctors and people never mention. There are a lot of unknowns too since ultrasounds are--relatively speaking--a new invention and I believe that there is not enough evidence to show that they are safe, but there is plenty of evidence to show that we should use them conservatively and only when necessary. It's known that ultrasounds change the cells of the subject they are put on... well what effect is that having? There was also a study of ultrasounds done on mice which made their ears bleed. :/ I'm not saying this to scare you and I understand if you choose to get an u/s for your own reasons and to not face the risks of not having one. I do! But I'm saying this because it makes me mad that there is the very popular general attitude that ultrasounds are harmless and frankly, there is not enough evidence for people to be saying that and especially not to be so 'ultrasound happy' that they are using them at every prenatal appointment. Plus, from what I've read, the studies that were done on ultrasounds to pass them as "safe" were done years ago on machines that were not nearly as powerful as the ones they use now. There are a lot of diseases and cancers that have 'unknown' sources and I just think we should be cautious to use unnecessary interventions, ya know what I mean.

So I think you are doing a good job looking Into this. And I think the best decisions we can make for our babies are decisions that are informed! I'd suggest you look into both sides of this issue and make the decision that is right for you. And if we were friends IRL I'd full support you on that. I mean it. I hope I didnt come off as rude or trying to scare you. It's just that there is so much material (especially on babycenter.com and whatto expect) on how u/s is perfectly safe, that I feel like I have to spread the word and get the truth out, even if I am swimming upstream.
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#7 of 7 Old 02-25-2014, 12:16 PM
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It is indeed optional.


That said, though I'd avoid unnecessary ultrasounds, I will always choose to have an anatomy scan. There's no good evidence that a single ultrasound harms babies, and it can pick up on abnormalities in a way that saves lives. A friend of mine learned her baby had spina bifida due to an ultrasound - a vaginal birth could have paralysed or killed him, and knowing that he'd need surgery soon after birth was invaluable. Another woman I know was able to arrange and prepare for immediate post-birth surgery on her newborn's heart thanks to an anatomy scan picking up his heart defects. In that instance there *were* false positives - the doctors thought the baby would be far more severely disabled, and pressured her to abort. Nevertheless, the scan (and her strength in the face of the doctors) saved the baby's life. In my view, it's worth it - a simple, fairly non-invasive procedure with no adverse effects (documented from one-time scans), which can potentially mean fetal surgery, newborn surgery, the opportunity to research and process knowledge of health issues, medically appropriate birth plans and so on. 

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