The following is some research I've done on ultrasound. Whnever approached about it, I just always say the U/s hasn't been shown to improve outcomes in studies. Usually shuts them up right away.
Weighing the Propaganda against Facts
The use of ultrasound is big business, with lots of marketing. Women have been led to believe their baby’s well-being is ensured by ultrasound scans for early detection of problems. That is not necessarily so, and there are a number of studies which show that early detection can be harmful.
Miscarriage & Preterm Labor
A 1990 Michigan study: 57 women at risk for preterm labor were studied. Half had weekly ultrasounds, half had standard care.
Preterm labor was more than doubled in the ultrasound group – 52% - compared with 25% in the controls. Although the numbers were small the difference was unlikely to emerge by chance.
A 1990 Helsinki study: 9,000 women were studied. 4000 were scanned at 16-20 weeks, 5000 weren’t scanned at all. 20 miscarriages occurred in the scanned group and none in the controls.
A 1993 London study: 2475 women studied. Half had Doppler ultrasound exams of the umbilical and uterine arteries at 19-22 weeks and at 32 weeks. The other half had no Doppler ultrasound. There were 19 perinatal deaths of normal infants in the Doppler group. Only 4 deaths in the no Doppler group.
A 1990 Helsinki study: if an ultrasound technician were pregnant, handling the ultrasound equipment for more than 20 hours a week significantly increased the risk of miscarriage. Also the risk of miscarriage occurring after the tenth week was significantly increased for deep heat therapies given for more than five hours per week and ultrasound more than ten hours per week.
Diagnosing Placenta Previa
The 1st 1990 Helsinki study also revealed: Of the 4000 women scanned at 16-20 weeks, 250 had a placenta previa diagnosis, a potentially life threatening condition for mother and baby . At delivery only 4 of the 250 diagnosed women actually had placenta previa. Interestingly in the unscanned group there were also four women with placenta previa. Sadly 246 women underwent an unnecessary cesarean section and spent their pregnancies worrying about the surgery and possibility of sudden hemorrhage.
Detecting Infant Defects & Growth Retardation
A Norway study: 36 babies with hernias, abdominal wall defects, bladder extrophy, and meningomyelocele were studied. Only 13 of the 36 were detected before birth (36%), even though mothers had an average 5 ultrasound scans.
~3 of the 13 properly diagnosed babies died after birth. Only 1 of the 23 undiagnosed died.
~ All 13 diagnosed were delivered by cesarean. 19 of the 23 undiagnosed had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery.
~ The 13 diagnosed had lower birth weights and 2 weeks shorter gestation. Although the diagnosed received surgery earlier than the undiagnosed, outcomes were the same. Knowing about defects in advance did not benefit these babies. More of them died, were delivered sooner, had lower weights, & longer hospital stay.
A 1998 German study: out of 2378 scanned pregnancies (average 4.7 scans ) , only 58 of the 183 growth retarded babies were diagnosed before birth. 45 infants were wrongly diagnosed as being growth retarded. Only 28 of the 72 severely retarded babies were detected before birth. 74% of the diagnosed babies were delivered by cesarean, while only 30% of the undiagnosed were, with pre-term delivery being more frequent in the cesarean group. Intensive care admission rate was 3 times higher in the diagnosed group.
Not bonding with or loving the fetus for fear they may have to part with it.
Abortion, especially devastating if a diagnoses was wrong and the baby was normal and healthy.
Seeing the baby as defected, even if it was born healthy and normal.
Because ultrasound has been developed rapidly without proper evaluation it is extremely difficult to prove subtle effects. Nonetheless:
A 1984 American study: Compared with a control group children who had not been exposed to ultrasound, aged 7-12, those exposed were more likely to have dyslexia and have been admitted to the hospital in childhood.
A 1993 Calgary study: Compared 72 children with delayed speech of unknown cause with 142 controls who were similar in demographics. The children with speech problems were twice as likely as controls to have been exposed to ultrasound in the womb. Note that the scanners used in the study emitted very low doses of ultrasound – lower than exposures emitted from machines nowadays.
Studies are now underway to examine the effects of scans on I.Q., attention span, organ & ear abnormalities, fertility, & other behaviors.
Adapted by Amy Jones from Ultrasound? Unsound and http://www.midwiferytoday.com/librar...les/ultrasound
both by Beverly Lawrence Beech and Jean RobinsonUltrasound Weighing the Propoganda against the Facts Miscarriage & Preterm Labor
: diagnosing placneta previa detecting infant defects & growth retardation emotional impact additional risks