My dr routinely does two ultrasounds- one at your first appt to get a due date and another at 18 weeks. I have seen the studies that indicate ultrasound might affect a babies brain (more left handedness etc), but I'm comfortable with having two. Today it dawned on me that my dr also listens to the baby's heart beat at each appt with a doppler and doesn't that also use ultrasound? Does anyone have any information about doppler like whether it is essentially the same affect on the baby as an ultrasound or is it a lower intensity or anything? I know sometimes midwives use a fetoscope after 20 wks to hear the heart beat but I don't think that's an option with my dr. Any info?
Proud Mama to Ceili Fey (3/6/03), Elias ( 4/9/08-3/4/12), Noah ( 4/21/09 ), Henry ( 1/30/12 ), and Calvin ( 3/7/12).
Also if you have charted your temps then you can probably avoid the first ultrasound. I have mine charted really well so I know the date with in +or-24hrs so no dating ultrasound was needed.
Livin' Laughin' Lovin' - Just Me and Sammers, my homebirthin' little girl.
There is a chance any baby will have issues, even with no scans
I'd try not to worry too much, they can both be helpful for picking up preventable problems
Unfortunately, I wouldn't expect your doctor to even have one, let alone know how to use it. I've worked with midwives who have never even used one.
I find that most moms want to hear the heart beat with the doppler. I am sure to palpate the baby really well so that I know where to find it right away, and then only as long as it takes to get a count and assure mom that the baby is healthy.
There is no actual evidence that ultrasound is harmful, just theoretical. However, it's not been in use or studied long enough for me to feel that it's been proven safe either. I wouldn't have any qualms at all about using the doppler or having an ultrasound if it was necessary, but if there's a known safe alternative I'll take it.
I'd imagine a mainstream doc would probably look at me like I'd grown a 3rd eye if I mentioned it -- but I'd happily be a three-eyed patient to get my way.
Karen happily married mother of 3 great children (19, 6, 5), in my last semester for my Masters in Nutrition and started a six-month internship.
The risk is small, but from the studies I've seen it is probably real - so better to be safe. There is really no reason, in most pregnancies, to do more than one u/s, and fetoscopes work perfectly well (though you can't hear the heartbeat until much later in the pregnancy - this didn't bother me but others might be more anxious, especially if they have had complications in the past).
On the other hand, since the risk is small, if your doctor is absolutely opposed to limiting doppler use I wouldn't worry overmuch about it.
Handheld doppler "tends to use lower intensities than 'diagnostic' abdominal and vaginal ultrasounds but has continuous sound waves, like 'Doppler' ultrasound". It also explains on a further page (if you hit next a few times) that higher frequencies of ultrasound (as in sound wave frequencies) can produce increases in temperature and that is part of why abdominal and vaginal ultrasound is intermittent, since it is done at a higher frequency than doppler. Apparently doppler can be done continuously because there is not the risk of increased temperature.
and my man . Momma to ds1 (11-'04) , ds2 (8-'08) , dd (3-'12) , and Mr Blue, Chiyo, and Fireball, our 3 .
My primary reasons are that while pg with my dd, she always "ran away" from the doppler. In hindsight, it makes sense to me that she didn't like it. Maybe it was painful or uncomfortable, or whatever. So in addition to the studies that show it might be harmful, I made this choice more because I think babies have shown they don't like it (I hear about lots of babies who run away from doppler).
I feel the same about u/s. During my first u/s with dd, I could feel it on my skin and it was extremely unpleasant. It didn't dawn on me then to consider her experience, but I think about it now.
What I find out from u/s and doppler is not worth it for me to expose my baby to that. I want my womb to be a safe, comfortable and protected space.
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