How necessary are ultrasounds? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 02-22-2012, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone. 

 

I'm pregnant with my 4th child and due to have a routine US exam on Friday, it's a 21 week fetal anomaly scan (I'm in the UK). I'm actually really going off the idea of getting scanned so frequently, I'm just not sure they are necessary but I know if I say to my husband or family that I don't want to go to the scan on Friday there is bound to be a huge argument as they will say the scan is necessary and I'm being unreasonable. TBH I'd love to go UC as well but there's no point even getting in to the argument that would cause. 

 

Thoughts? Any arguments for or against getting the scan? 

 

thanks 


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#2 of 15 Old 02-22-2012, 05:01 AM
 
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I'm for it only because this will be my first unassisted birth. I want to know where my placenta lies, multiples, etc. It's not really an arguement fot u/s, just a reason why I chose to have mine done. Well, that plus i'm getting prenatal care and it's routine lol

Where i live (caribbean) I only get 1 scan at 19-21 weeks, so it's not frequent at all.There is so much debate between the safeness of ultrasounds. I rather not take the chance and have so many. I'll see my baby when he/she is born!

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#3 of 15 Old 02-23-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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I'm also going unassisted for my first and I haven't had any scans (currently 31 weeks along) and I'm not planning to. This was a very considered decision after reading all the pros and potential risks of ultrasound. For me, the risk of getting a false positive on something wrong with the baby was not worth ruining my enjoyment of pregnancy, and this was supported by a study (from Sweden, I think) which showed that the outcomes for babies who were scanned and had defects picked up vs those who weren't scanned (or whose defects weren't picked up until after birth) were much the same. For me the main argument not to do it was that it doesn't fit in with my UP/self care approach to pregnancy and of course the evidence which shows that routine prenatal ultrasound does not improve outcomes (this was from the Cochrane Review, which looks at all available studies that have been done). There is also plenty of evidence that ultrasounds may cause cell changes in the fetus - I recommend reading Dr. Sarah Buckley's article on it 'Ultrasounds, cause for concern?'.  Granted, it's not conclusive one way or another but for me it is suspicious enough that I'm happy to avoid scanning.

 

In my case it's also about trusting my body and inner wisdom and not submitting myself to the medical establishment which views pregnancy as an illness rather than a healthy biological function. The way I see it, the human race was doing just fine before we had all of this technology to 'help' us (the fall in mortality rates was largely due to improved sanitation and nutrition).

 

But, having said all that, I completely understand why many UCers choose to have a scan for their own peace of mind and that little bit of additional knowledge. If I had any medical indications that something might be wrong (bleeding, baby not moving, etc..), I wouldn't hesitate to get a scan to check things out.  It's totally a personal decision and I would suggest to anyone not sure to look at the evidence, look at their reasoning and make the decision that is best for them.


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#4 of 15 Old 02-23-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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From what I am reading in all these Natural Prego books, ultrasounds are not necessary and not proven to be safe. If a woman is healthy and has had healthy pregnancies in the past it is ok to skip it.  But if one must do it, to check on the placenta and such, it is best to wait until at least 30 weeks because the placenta can still be low at 28 weeks.  I have had 3 c-sections and am planning a HBAC and so I am going to get an ultrasound to see where my placenta is because of the scar tissue. 

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#5 of 15 Old 02-23-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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From what I am reading in all these Natural Prego books, ultrasounds are not necessary and not proven to be safe. If a woman is healthy and has had healthy pregnancies in the past it is ok to skip it.  But if one must do it, to check on the placenta and such, it is best to wait until at least 30 weeks because the placenta can still be low at 28 weeks.  I have had 3 c-sections and am planning a HBAC and so I am going to get an ultrasound to see where my placenta is because of the scar tissue. 

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#6 of 15 Old 02-24-2012, 05:13 AM
 
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While I don't think U/S's should be routine, I do think there are many good reasons for some women to get them. I think it's one of those options that's a personal choice.  I'm not for excessive U/S's at all though.

 

Since I'm doing a UP and UC, I will get one U/S b/n 20-30 weeks as a gender check (because I want to know) and an overall check. That feels like a good choice to me. Other than that, I have a a fetoscope to check heart beat from hopefully 20 weeks on.


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#7 of 15 Old 03-02-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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I like to have 1 scan right around 20 weeks just to make sure everything looks okay with baby and to double check where the placenta is. after that unless there is a problem with baby there is no need for more scans. Possibly another one if you go overdue to make sure everything looks good but in between routine u/s are just silly.


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#8 of 15 Old 03-02-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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We didn't do one with our last, now 4 months old, and everyone's main concern was that we wouldn't know the sex! I didn't want the extra cost or appts that would have been necessary to get it done (the one dr. I did see wanted me to have at least three) and I felt comfortable not knowing all of the what-ifs.  Plus, the things that might be wrong, usually nothing can be done until the birth and if you plan on having a medical attendant, they'll know the signs if anything does go wrong.

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#9 of 15 Old 03-03-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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not necessary at all, and not proven safe, didn't have one with my last and will never have one again. I had one with my first two boys and I could tell they didn't like it, they were very active during as if trying to get away from it. Unless God forbid you planned on terminating the pregnancy if they found something was wrong, they cant do anything about it anyway. so what is the point?


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#10 of 15 Old 03-03-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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I'm with Chapluca.  Couldn't have said it better myself. 

 

Ultrasounding is not "necessary" by any means, and it may actually be a negative thing.  Some literature to consider:

 

Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation by Andreas Moritz (pages 389-391)

Five Standards for Safe Childbearing by David Stewart (page 438)

Obstetric Ultrasound: Artistry in Practice by John C. Hubbin (page 155)

Get me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Hutter Epstein

A Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth by Henci Goer

 

Any other literature out there worth reading about ultrasounds?


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#11 of 15 Old 03-06-2012, 11:03 PM
 
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I do think drs do u/s way too much during the pg. I am not against them....just not for them so frequently. I personally get one with each child.....and more towards the last couple months of pregnancy. I especially want them when I UC (I am going on my 3rd UC) because I like to know for sure what is going on inside of me. I want to make sure baby is in position and no issues.......so I think the couple of minutes worth of u/s is fine.

I only had one with my one hospital birth as well.....but I didn't start going to the dr until I was past 6 months..........which they were not pleased about anyway....lol. I tried to go against a lot of the tests they wanted to do, but they just kept backing me into a corner because it was my first and I was "so young". They kept using scare tactics to try to get me to want to test....although they didn't realize that even though I was "so young", I had a lot of knowledge about it all. 
I don't think it would hurt expressing your concerns to your dr. Just go about it in a nice way. =)

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#12 of 15 Old 03-18-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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I personally opt for the anatomy scan at the very least.  

 

- I would want to know if I had multiples (my last pregnancy was twins, I had them unassisted but was very glad I knew what to expect), what their zygosity was, etc.  I would personally not feel comfortable UC'ing monozygotic twins.  I also think it is a good idea to watch for TTTTS with identical twins, as it can be fatal for both if not caught.  Although I opted out of the bimonthly scans for that.  I was okay with scans every four weeks and no more often.

 

- I would want to know if everything was alright with the placenta.  If I UC'ed with undiagnosed placenta previa, I'd definitely risk losing my baby before I figured it out, unless it bled profusely.

 

- I would want to make sure the baby didn't have any defects that required immediate attention after birth.  

 

 

Generally, from what I have read, it is worst to have early, frequent ultrasounds.

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#13 of 15 Old 03-24-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJandElijahsmommy View PostUnless God forbid you planned on terminating the pregnancy if they found something was wrong, they cant do anything about it anyway. so what is the point?


Because with some conditions, such as severe heart defects, you may wish to change your birth plans.

 

And I appreciate that scans don't pick up all problems, but they do still have diagnostic value. I'm pro medically necessary scans. Not a big fan of the mall 'vanity' scans.

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#14 of 15 Old 03-28-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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In my seven full term pregnancies I have one ultrasound. They told me she had a heart defect but she didn't. I feel like they aren't always accurate and can cause mom a lot of anxiety.
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#15 of 15 Old 04-05-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommymcnair6 View Post

In my seven full term pregnancies I have one ultrasound. They told me she had a heart defect but she didn't. I feel like they aren't always accurate and can cause mom a lot of anxiety.


I would say I have more anxiety about whether or not the baby is okay when I don't get any ultrasounds.  Huge peace of mind for me when my anatomy scan all turns out normal.

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