Ultrasounds. yes or no, why? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've seen a few women throughout the forum mention that they have chosen no ultrasound. I am curious if anyone has strong opinions either way. We have chosen to, but I respect and am curious about women/families who have chosen not to. I look forward to your responses.

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#2 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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I've chosen not to b/c I'm concerned with the risks involved. I've said it before (and I'm sure you could read detail about it on another thread) but I truly believe that my oldest daughter's developmental delays are due to her ultrasound exposure during pregnancy (completely routine exposure - nothing out of the ordinary). I believe that it can and does happen and knowing what I know now I do not wish to assume the risk for this child. I also feel that u/s can lead me to worry unnecessarily during pregnancy - shoot, just the few moments you wait while they try to find the hb or see the baby is incredibly stressful. I haven't had to go through that kind of panic this time around (and for someone who has a history of miscarriages, those moments *do* create (me anyway) quite a lot of panic). Ultimately I know that whatever they "see" in there does not change whether or not there is an issue. I love this baby and will trust in my body and the process. I feel like it's the best thing I can do for both of us. Hope this makes sense.

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#3 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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love_homebirthing- I'm curious whether your sense that the US caused your dd's developmental delays is mother's intuition, or if you have some books/websites that suggest the mechanisms by which development could be affected? Not questioning you at all, but this is a good thing to not take lightly, especially when REPEATED us's are becoming more and more common. Was it a one-time exposure or extended exposure for your dd, and at what point in gestation was it?

I had the usual fetal survey at 20 weeks with my dd, and then 3 NST's in week 41... I would assume that if there would be a negative effect, it would be from exposure earlier in gestation? Also, do you think it is a concern for all babies, or is there some sort of genetic predisposition or other facts that may lead to negative effects?

The reason I chose to have an US is basically for peace of mind, my own and my dh's. I do find it reassuring to have the fetal survey, in terms of whether we would need to be prepared for complications at birth. But if I felt like the dangers of an US outweighed the benefits, I would definitely reconsider. (as I did with vaxes, after dd's 4 month appointment). I have read some things that have lead me to question the diagnostic capabilities of US, but I haven't read anything compelling that has led me to reconsider safety. But I'm willing to read about it more.

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#4 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 05:38 PM
 
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I'm leaning towards having one. I found the time right after DS's birth to be such a vulnerable space, that if there is something that an US can tell me - I want to take advantage of the time before birth to read/research/decide a lot of things.
My sister's 3rd was born missing a hand. Knowing allowed her to spend some time talking to others online who had similiar situations and she was able to spend his first days positively instead of wondering about accessing information and finding a hand speacilist. I know it's rare - but another friend who's child was born with an enlarged kidney also expressed that she had time to do independent research on the subject rather than just having to rely on rushed doctors suggestions at such a vulnerable time.

That all said - I'm still just leaning towards it. Part of me really wants this birth and delivery to be about trust. I have felt this baby to be a great source of energy and calm in my life so far that I think when the question is posed (I have to see a midwife at the birthing center that my CPM uses as her back-up for transfers) and discuss it and other testing with her.

My son arrived after 2 mc's and I spotted a lot with him and had a whole serious of US's with no known side effects. But man, they do raise the bp!

The few doppler checks with my MW have been calm - in fact she gets a lower bp reading than anyone else ever has. She did say an US is good to check for position of the placenta.

We shall see!
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#5 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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I will be having them every 3 wks this time, just as I did with the last pg. I have hypertension and a history of preterm labor, so we are monitoring cervical length and growth. I've already had 5 sonos this pg. I have not seen any studies showing problems from repeated sono. None of my children thus far have any developmental delays other than speech - but dh was in speech for 6 yrs, so I think that's hereditary.

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#6 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 08:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyPage
love_homebirthing- I'm curious whether your sense that the US caused your dd's developmental delays is mother's intuition, or if you have some books/websites that suggest the mechanisms by which development could be affected? Not questioning you at all, but this is a good thing to not take lightly, especially when REPEATED us's are becoming more and more common. Was it a one-time exposure or extended exposure for your dd, and at what point in gestation was it?

I had the usual fetal survey at 20 weeks with my dd, and then 3 NST's in week 41... I would assume that if there would be a negative effect, it would be from exposure earlier in gestation? Also, do you think it is a concern for all babies, or is there some sort of genetic predisposition or other facts that may lead to negative effects?
In my case, my belief is based on research which shows that pregnant woman who were exposed to u/s during pregnancy had an increased risk of babies with problems like we see in my daughter (specifically in her case, speech delays and lack of myelin in the brain). Her exposure - and I'm counting ALL u/s exposure which would include the visual-type scan, doppler, and EFM during labor - was 2 transvaginal u/s in the first trimester (the first one they could not see a baby (8 weeks) so it was repeated at 10 weeks), perhaps 30 seconds max. of doppler per prenatal visit to listen to the heartbeat (plus about 3-4 more of those as I had concurrent care for part of my pregnancy with an OB while planning my homebirth), the typical visual scan at 18-20 weeks (which lasted about 45 minutes), and that was it (no EFM as it was a homebirth, although periodically the doppler was used during labor). Do I think it's a concern for ALL babies? Yes - potentially. But I don't think that most babies show obvious signs of damage, and perhaps have none. It's really hard to say, isn't it, when you don't know how a child would have been w/o it done. My 2nd child also had typical u/s exposure (I even rented a home doppler unit and checked for her hb once a week (and very briefly at that b/c I did have some concerns, but didn't have the info I have now)) and she seems to be completely normal. It's just one of those things which honestly have NOT been adequately studied so it's really hard for anyone to say with absolute certainty that it is indeed safe or not. Mothering & Midwifery Today both have compelling articles which you may want to read before reaching a decision either way. Do whatever is right for you. I've come to hate discussing this issue as I feel I'm always criticised for it so I don't want people to think I'm making absolute statements here. This has just been MY experience and MY set of beliefs. Good luck with whatever you do.

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#7 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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I have the 12-week ultrasound (nuchal translucency/Level 2) because I do not want to continue a pregnancy where there are significant anomalies. Just had it yesterday, btw, and dd is looking great in there

I have the 20-week to check for other anomalies (more reluctant to terminate at this point, but want to know if I should birth in a hospital and/or receive care from a specialist, and I would terminate if the baby had no brain or something huge like that), and we'd use this to determine the position of the placenta if we didn't already know.

I have one last ultrasound at term to check for any positioning/cord issues, so I can feel totally comfortable birthing out of hospital.

If I were opposed to abortion, I would probably just have that last ultrasound, assuming all my bloodwork looked good. So for me, the main benefit of ultrasound is getting the information I need to decide whether or not to bring the baby to term.

I do not feel that ultrasound is any more dangerous than flying on a plane or typing this post with my laptop resting against my belly, and since I choose to risk those things I would feel silly avoiding ultrasounds.
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#8 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 09:34 PM
 
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I just had my 19 week ultrasound yesterday
I had one at 6 weeks because I was spotting and my HCG levels were extremely high (I had a molar pregnancy in 2002) so the doctor just wanted to make sure it was not that again. Then I had one at 8 weeks to date the pregnancy and make sure everything was going good, then I had the one yesterday at 19 weeks. Then I will be having one at 24 weeks plus every 4 weeks after that as well as profiles starting at 32 weeks every week until I deliver.

I have them so often because I have a blood clotting disorder that can cause the baby to be small and the doctor is concerned about that. I honestly love having them, I've never heard anything negative about them I had several with my dd and she's fine and I had all kinds with my ds and he seems pretty normal as well
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#9 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't worked out how to quote yet, but I want to thank love_homebirthing for including some links to some literature that she lists as questioning the safety of ultrasounds. I have been curious about the con side for some time, as I have heard comments from friends and on this site, but have yet to read something in a journal about it. I will look at these links in the next while.

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#10 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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We've already had one and are scheduled for the gender ultrasound in December. We have 9 nieces and nephews, and I have 7 young siblings(the youngest is 3) all of whom had multiple ultrasounds while in the womb and they are all just fine. I'm not saying something couldn't happen, but I've never known anything bad to happen because of an ultrasound personally.
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#11 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 10:19 PM
 
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I like Kmom's article on this-- well thought out --

http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/P...oundsafety.htm

Personally, I am inclined to agree with her-- 1 is probably okay in most pregnancies, it's when you add in transvaginal plus CEFM plus really frequent u/s you start to wonder what's happening because there just isnt' much long term evidence about this. I decided to have just the second trimester one to check for any obvious organ defects b/c I felt for me it was more prudent to know. The other two that are usually done I felt I could live without, the first b/c I have no ectopic history and am not at high risk for one and the third trimester b/c it's basically useless except for scaring women into inductions or c/s (unless one is having issues that are evident) IMHO. If I had multiple miscarriage history or ecoptic history I would probably go in for a first trimester at some point around 8 weeks.
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#12 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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Not so much a strong opinion here, but I doubt I'm going to have an ultrasound.
The only reason I might want one is to make sure the baby's developing okay, but that's it. We already know I can grow a healthy baby (ds), so we're not all that concerned.

We're not finding out the sex or anything, and paying $300 out-of-pocket for an ultrasound just isn't in the budget (besides, if I had an extra $300 I'd be shopping for more cloth diapers and stuff!).

But with ds, even after a miscarriage, I only had 2 ultrasounds - one at 20ish weeks, another at 37/38 weeks to check his position because the OB wasn't sure.

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#13 of 28 Old 11-16-2005, 10:58 PM
 
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I have had 2 ultrasounds so far. The first (at about 10 weeks) lasted about 20-30 minutes. I was planning on doing the nuchal translucency screening, and this was the ultrasound for dating purposes--I ended up deciding not to go through with the screening, thogh. The second, at 16 weeks, was a transvaginal to follow up on an ovarian cyst that was discovered during the first ultrasound. I will have the standard diagnostic ultrasound at 20 weeks, and perhaps another transvaginal in a couple of months to take another look at the cyst.
I think that in future pregnancies I will try to avoid ultrasounds in the first trimester, because from what I've read, that is when they are potentially the most harmful. It depends on whether or not I still have the cyst, of course.

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#14 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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I definitely had one, and I question any "research" showing they are unsafe at normal levels. I think that's the key- I do think that if someone is goofing around, or the scans were performed 30 years ago at much higher powers, there could be higher risk. There's no evidence for "cavitation" when used as it is for diagnostic ultrasounds- it's all about the power used. It can be risky if used incorrectly. (I'm familiar with a group here that actually does cavitation research, it's really interesting, actually!)

Dopplers used to listen to the heartbeat actually emit a more intense beam of energy, but over a smaller area. I would seriously question anyone resisting one normal ultrasound scan who gets a home doppler unit that they use often! I think home doppler units are a much higher risk than a routine u/s performed by a trained person. I know if I had one I'd be tempted to use it too much- I'm sure that is a common temptation!

Of course ultrasounds are not perfect, and miss defects, etc. I think they are important because they can detect at least some problems- and some of those might be able to be either cured or at least mitigated by treatment. Placentia previa is a big deal, and I strongly disagree with the mothering magazine article that "oh, only 1 in 20 is a problem". Well, that's a HUGE risk to me. The way you know if you have it is if you develop serious problems and/or have a miscarriage! I think the relative risk here is clear. I know some people resist any and all interventions, but intervention-wise, this one is not up there on the risk scale like some others (CVS, amnio) are. We decided not to get the triple screen because I would never get an amnio- that risk, to me personally, is too high, and due to my weight, a false report on the triple screen was likely. So I understand the idea of resisting testing if it leads to something that would be a true intervention with documented risks. I think the u/s can be of even *more* use for someone choosing homebirth, as at least some problems that may be an issue can be found beforehand and you can be prepared. I think they key is understanding the limitations of what u/s can tell you before you get one.

Saying all that, I don't think it wise to get one just to see the gender (unless there is a sex-linked chance at a genetic disease or something like that), and I certainly don't think it's wise to get one of those 4-D scans in the mall. That should be illegal, imho. Who knows if the dude in the mall is doing it right?!

Even if you would never, ever get an abortion, I think knowing in advance of any problems (and solutions of those problems) is certainly a very useful thing to have, and so a routine u/s at ~20 weeks is a great idea. If there are no problems, you probably never need another, as the midwife/doc can tell the position of the baby by feeling, etc, when you are much farther along. Just my opinion. I was nervous about cleft palate due to the asthma medicine I take- as sparingly as I can- so it was a HUGE relief to see that that hadn't happened (I just had my 20 week u/s on monday). I didn't think it would be as big of a deal, but it was very big to me. I felt much more relieved than I thought I would, and the reduction in stress from that- along with seeing it move like crazy- I think can be a big positive in a pregnancy, too. I know my husband and I sort of bonded to it by seeing the u/s, which was quite brief (15 mins), actually- and so for us, it had an additional plus side. You can see so much more on the screen than you can on the little pictures- it was absolutely fascinating.

Of course this is my opinion, but do take unsubstantiated claims about the danger of procedures with a grain of salt, along with the normal grains of salt about all the "safe" ones too! It must be absolutely devistating to have a child with a birth defect and not know the cause- and let's face it, I think most times they don't know the cause- and it's tempting and very human to want to blame something- anything- for it. It's very understandable, and everyone has to make their own decisions. I take the articles on mothering with a large grain of salt- (the one about pot smoking really, REALLY put me off). Good luck with your decision, and with your u/s if you get one!
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#15 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 02:20 AM
 
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I'm still not sure yet (18 weeks along). But I'm not really concerned about risks or harm to the baby.

My reasons against are that there is NO evidence that routine ultrasound (without an indication) improves outcomes in any way. Also, honestly, I have very positive feelings about my baby until I start thinking of the possibility of an ultrasound. Then I start thinking "what if they see something"? There are SO often "concerns" found on an ultrasound that with more ultrasounds, time, worry, etc. you find out everything is fine. So that is what I'm most worried about. If I was planning a hospital birth I probably wouldn't even be considering an ultrasound, but I'm planning a home birth.

My reasons for an ultrasound are the really small chance that there might be a problem with my baby that would make a hospital birth an advantage. I think those are RARE and not the case even for a lot of defects. However, I just keep thinking about the guilt I would feel if something were to happen and I would think- what if I just had an ultrasound? Could I have prevented this? I KNOW that SO often things are not seen on ultrasound, and my feeling is if I have an ultrasound and then have an issue, well then there's nothing else I could have done about it. I did the ultrasound and it wasn't seen. That happens.

Any thoughts on my dilemma? I'm going to have to decide in the next month (before 22 weeks).
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#16 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 02:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny-g
Dopplers used to listen to the heartbeat actually emit a more intense beam of energy, but over a smaller area. I would seriously question anyone resisting one normal ultrasound scan who gets a home doppler unit that they use often! I think home doppler units are a much higher risk than a routine u/s performed by a trained person. I know if I had one I'd be tempted to use it too much- I'm sure that is a common temptation!
If this was in regards to what I wrote, let me clarify. I *did* rent a home doppler unit during my last pregnancy - NOT this one. As I mentioned in my post, I'm including all u/s technology in my choice of avoiding ultrasound including doppler. I have not had one single scan of any type at this point, nor do I intend to. So I'm NOT a person who is "resisting one normal ultrasound scan who gets a home doppler unit that they use often." I did that following 2 miscarriages, only used it once a week and just long enough to detect a hb (b/c I *did* have concerns about safety, only hadn't researched it well), and only until I felt regular fetal movement (so that I could then use THAT as my indicator that the baby was still alive - I had missed miscarriages so I could not rely on my body to abort immediately). I don't think I did the right thing, but at the time I did the best I could with the info I had. I'm actually a bit ashamed (now) of that decision, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

I'm sorry that you, and so many like you, can't sympathize with my position or even believe it. It's very frustrating to never be heard and to have your issues (or your child's) downplayed b/c they aren't as bad as some genetic defect or something. As I've said before, I can't PROVE this is why my dd has the problems she does, but the research I've seen does show a correlation. It's so tempting to never talk about this, as I'm always bashed, but then I'd feel guilty for not giving others the opportunity to have more information then I had at the time.

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#17 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 08:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
If this was in regards to what I wrote, let me clarify.
Actually, it wasn't directed at you at all- it was directed in general to the number of people I"ve heard of doing this (on other boards as well- not just this one), and the number of people who don't even *know* it's ultrasound! Before I got pregnant, I didn't know it was ultrasound either! I actually tried to make an effort not to bash on you- I don't think that came through as well as I had intended.

Just for the record, I totally sympathize with you, even though I don't think the u/s caused your problems, and there is really is not any well done research that shows those things are linked- regardless of the (poorly researched and written) columns on mothering. I don't think you should feel bad about what you did, and you certainly had every reason to use it- having previous miscarriages really *is* a reason to get u/s if it helps find out the reason! Missed ones are even that much more risky and scary! It sounds like you followed the standard of care that almost all midwives (much less OBs) would have chosen in your case. If you choose not to have scans in the future, that's certainly your total right to do that- but if you find out you have to (i.e. you're bleeding, or there is some other problem), please don't be terrified of them.

The number of things we are all exposed to routinely in our pregnancies that HAVE DEFINITELY proven to not be safe (like pthalates in plastics and personal care products, for example, dioxin, and pesticides), is so depressingly large that there is absolutely no way on earth we can avoid them, even if we try (i.e. never microwaving in plastic, etc.). When women in completely remote locations have dioxin in their breastmilk, well, there's nothing we personally can do about that in the near term. I think there are risks out there we can't control that are way more serious than any theoretical risk from u/s. I'm not saying this to argue with you, either- I'd like for you to feel better about your past decisions. And I certainly did not downplay the issues you have with your child whatsoever- I would never do that to anyone. If you had had another missed miscarriage and had severe complications from that due to not using any u/s technology, that would have been far worse- yes? Your health is important too! The biggest issue I have with your posts is that it leads you to blame yourself, which I think here is just Plain Wrong, imho. I hope you can feel better about your past decisions in the future, and good luck with your next pregnancy.
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#18 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 01:05 PM
 
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I'm scheduled for a level 2 ultrasound on Monday because my daughter has a congenital kidney malformation. Sure, it's rare, but I'd rather know in advance for the same reasons that have been mentioned earlier-- it's a heck of a lot easier to do research when you're calm, relaxed, and have plenty of time than it is when you've got a brand new baby and doctors and family freaking out all around you.

After that, I can see one more happening to check fetal position towards the end of the pregnancy, or to determine whether or not my water has broken (which is how my pregnancies seem to end.. *sigh* with negative tests for water breaking right up until the ultrasound, which proves conclusively what I'd been saying, that my water broke X hours/days earlier ) but if there are no other issues, I probably won't have anymore. It's not that I think the technology is unsafe; I just can't see a reason to do it if you don't need to know what's going on in there for some reason, and I won't need much more information, kwim?

Quote:
I'm sorry that you, and so many like you, can't sympathize with my position or even believe it. It's very frustrating to never be heard and to have your issues (or your child's) downplayed b/c they aren't as bad as some genetic defect or something. As I've said before, I can't PROVE this is why my dd has the problems she does, but the research I've seen does show a correlation. It's so tempting to never talk about this, as I'm always bashed, but then I'd feel guilty for not giving others the opportunity to have more information then I had at the time.
Forgive me, but I'm not seeing this at all. I remember a thread chock full of sympathy for you and your daughter, but when I offered my theory of how *my* daughter's congential problems came to be, I was flamed in a big way by the same people who offered you support. I don't see anyone bashing you at all, only asking how you came to develop the theory that you currently hold. In your situation, I'd be greatful that anyone bothered to ask the question; it shows that they're at least listening, even if they don't currently agree with your assessment they're willing to hear you out. Noone has bothered to afford me that same courtesy at all.

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#19 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 01:46 PM
 
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eilonwy - I thought I had said it in one of these threads before, but just in case I will say it now. If I were in your shoes I would most likely make the same decision that you have. Even though my current children have no known congenital problems, I still weigh this issue heavily when making my decision about ultrasound. My next door neighbors have a son the same age as my older dd and he was born with a congenital heart defect. I've seen his struggles, the major surgeries he's had to go through, the tube he only recently had removed from his belly to feed him, how small he is, that he won't survive w/o a heart transplant sometime in his teenage years, etc. It breaks my heart every day to know that family's struggles, so when I make a choice like this it is not without a lot of forethought. I think what gets me is the attitude amongst so many people (and this goes with all issue in life I think) that it can't happen to them. I don't feel this way. I'm painfully aware that this could happen to us. But ultimately I have to make the choice that I feel is best for our family and that's what I've done. I also happen to know that in the case of my neighbors, the defect was not picked up by ultrasound at all, but when the baby turned blue twice after birth. So I've taken all of this info and made a choice I hope I won't live to regret. That's the best any of us can do, right? I do sympathize for your position. I'm sorry that emotions kept it from coming across that way. I think we're probably both pretty emotional about our particular set of circumstances and are perhaps likely to take things said in a much harsher way than intended by other posters.

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#20 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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We are having our first and (hopefully) only ultrasound on Monday because we're planning a homebirth and want to be as sure as we can be that our little one wont need any immediate medical attention due to developmental anomalies.

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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#21 of 28 Old 11-17-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Carley
We are having our first and (hopefully) only ultrasound on Monday because we're planning a homebirth and want to be as sure as we can be that our little one wont need any immediate medical attention due to developmental anomalies.
That's basically why I had the second trimester one. I know I can gestate in peace better having had it, that's just me. It was a bit of a hassle to get one though without going to an OB, but we managed it, thank God!
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#22 of 28 Old 11-26-2005, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm still not sure yet (18 weeks along). But I'm not really concerned about risks or harm to the baby.

My reasons against are that there is NO evidence that routine ultrasound (without an indication) improves outcomes in any way. Also, honestly, I have very positive feelings about my baby until I start thinking of the possibility of an ultrasound. Then I start thinking "what if they see something"? There are SO often "concerns" found on an ultrasound that with more ultrasounds, time, worry, etc. you find out everything is fine. So that is what I'm most worried about. If I was planning a hospital birth I probably wouldn't even be considering an ultrasound, but I'm planning a home birth.

My reasons for an ultrasound are the really small chance that there might be a problem with my baby that would make a hospital birth an advantage. I think those are RARE and not the case even for a lot of defects. However, I just keep thinking about the guilt I would feel if something were to happen and I would think- what if I just had an ultrasound? Could I have prevented this? I KNOW that SO often things are not seen on ultrasound, and my feeling is if I have an ultrasound and then have an issue, well then there's nothing else I could have done about it. I did the ultrasound and it wasn't seen. That happens.

Any thoughts on my dilemma? I'm going to have to decide in the next month (before 22 weeks).
I thought I would follow up on my previous post, as I finally decided to have an ultrasound. I'm still not sure it was the right decision, but it was a good experience.

From the point I scheduled my appt until I actually had it (about 3 days) I was a nervous wreck. What if they saw something suspicious? Would I feel different afterwards? Would "seeing" my baby (when I'm not really supposed to- nature doesn't provide a peeking window) change me or the pregnancy?

The night before my ultrasound I had the first negative dream about my birth. It was long and vivid, ending in a c/section. I was crying throughout my dream. I really think my mind was starting to think negative thoughts about the pregnancy, even though I 'knew' everything was ok. It was kinda of like deciding to have an ultrasound was acknowledging something could be/go wrong. I also think, subconciously, I took it from 'if you choose to use technology in your pregnancy, you may then need technology in your pregnancy'.

Anyway, I was fortunate to be able to schedule it for the Friday after Thanksgiving, when we had family members in town (even though I was only 19 weeks and know it would have been better between 20 & 22). That was the part that was exciting for me- to get to share the experience with my family. They all appreciated being a part of it. That was the only positive part of going to the ultrasound for me (before hand).

Of course everything was fine (from what the tech could tell me anyway- I'll know for sure next week). Towards the end of the ultrasound I felt a 'thump' at the same time I saw the baby move. So now I know for SURE that those thumps are the baby. That was a wonderful emotional experience, and incredible to happen with my husband and family around.

Well I hope that sharing my thoughts and feelings might help someone else come to their own decision about having an ultrasound. I have no set advice, other than finding what is best for you. I have no idea if I would do it again with the next pregnancy.
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#23 of 28 Old 11-26-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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I am for u/s. I had one at 20 weeks with first dd and three at 12weeks for age, 17 weeks because the heartbeat couldn't be found with a doppler and 25 weeks for organ checks and gender with second dd. Both of my children are healthy and have developed normal. This time I have had one a 12weeks because the PA was saying I was having a miscarriage and I have my 20 week schedualed in a week. I love seeing the baby on the screen and I always have to find out what the gender is, but I do think that some doctor's can over do it. Also we all want to see our babies, but I think it kind of gets old if you have too many. All you think about is the little bones you see on the screen not the butter ball baby you'll be having in a few months. I'm not on the fence for the normal u/s, but I have been wondering a lot about the new 4-D u/s they have now. I wonder if those are harmful because they are (atleast on the websites I've seen) an hour long. But aren't we lucky we can have the option or not to have an u/s
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#24 of 28 Old 11-26-2005, 04:11 PM
 
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I have read studies that say LARGE quantities of U/S can put you at risk but these are not what normal pregnancies consist of.

One u/s and a dozen Doppler isn't harmful.

I do wonder about some studies making correlations between u/s and birth defects being more of an issue that you are risk for them in the first place. I once read an article about mammograms causing breast cancers, especially in younger women. Well the fact is that younger women that get mammograms are getting them for a reason, they suspect or at jigh risk for cancer. So I wonder if that is the connection.

I don't think if you decided not to do one you are horrible. They are expensive and they really don't tell you much at all. It didn't catch my dd birth defect. Even the 4-D (those are excesive in most cases) wouldn't have detected it.
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#25 of 28 Old 11-26-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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4D ultrasound uses the exact same technology as regular ultrasound as far as the transducer is concerned; the only difference is the processor inside of the machine. It's got a better computer, one which can, instead of taking a single, 2D "layer" of information and putting it on the screen, take many different layers and process them all at once into a 3D picture; the latest processors are capable of accomplishing this task in realtime, allowing for motion in three demensions on the screen, which is how we get 4D ultrasounds. The transducer is not sending any more ultrasound waves through your body to do the 4D ultrasound than it is to do the 2D ultrasound, the difference is all in the processor.

As to time... well, a level 2 ultrasound done on a regular machine is, on average, an hour long. That's what that means-- a more in-depth examination of the entire fetus, which takes longer than a regular ultrasound (which can be as short as 20 minutes for a quick overall assessment of a healthy fetus).

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#26 of 28 Old 11-26-2005, 11:47 PM
 
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I am not opting for U/S. I have heard too many false diagnoses and unecessary panic for no reason. Also, so many things go missed anyhow.

I do not think I need to "prepare" because I don't think you can ever adequately do this anyhow. I'd prefer to grieve when this baby is not a part of my system and also experiencing this grief.

I read an article over the weekend about new technology that detects Down's Syndrome in the first trimester. These kinds of technology scare me. As a person who works with these kids and sees all the wonderful qualities and possibilities for them, it makes me sad to think that the few of us who choose not to do all the diagnostic testing could potentially be the ONLY ones to have a child with Down's. I feel like the world is becoming more like that movie Gattaca every day. Because we never know what will happen to even our "healthy children" (accidents, disease, etc.) I do not believe the "I could not handle a child with disabilities" is a fair thing to say. Also, it is not true. You can handle a lot.....research shows we are poor affective predictors and often predict we can handle less than we really can.

I also do not judge those who get U/S and everyone has their reasons, but there is solid research to show cell cavitation (mostly first trimester). It is very misleading to say, "I had u/s and my kids are all fine" because no one knows what could be happening on a cellular level. You may remember that years ago, women were given X-rays during pregnancy and their babies were "just fine"....until they discovered years later that they had a proclivity towards cancer. Again, not meaning to scare, just to pointing out the validity of the anti-U/S side. I am a big advocate of scientists actually conducting some research on these things, because us mamas deserve to be able to make informed decisions, right? SO many things about pregnancy are unknown because no one researchs them. To my knowledge no one has ever proven U/S safe either.... and that cavitation stuff gives me the creeps...esp. with the data that says girl babies pass on those cell changes to their babies.

My MW did one doppler on me for less than a minute. I don't feel the need for another one, but will consider if I suddenly do. She will also use the doppler during birth to monitor intermittently. To me, the benefits outweigh the potential risks here. Of course, everyone's risk/benefit ratio is a personal decision here. I certainly understand that those with special genetic situations, history of m/c, etc. may feel the need for more reassurance and I also think thats cool.

But basically, what my main point is, is that people like Tom Cruise buying a u/s machine for going overboard. Moderation is key in my opinion.

XOXO
Beth

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#27 of 28 Old 11-27-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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It's a personal choice - like whether or not you'll raise your children vegetarian, or let them watch TV. And behind these choices are varying degrees of fervor from parents both adamantly for and against such choices.

But ultimately every parent has to make those and other choices -- we do what we believe is the best for our children.

Me? I don't use heating pads right now because of the electro-magnetic waves (their use while pg has been linked to increased cases of leukemia in children later on).

Does that mean I am better than people who do? No. Smarter? No. More wel-informed? Perhaps. But even then, it's not definitive research. It's still theory, but one I happen to agree with.

Bottom line is I just have a different personal concern over what I view as harmful -- and it's not just based upon research or instinct, but upon things like our family history. If there's a pre-disposed tendency in your family toward cancer, then avoid all things cancer-related/causing.

If you have a family pre-disposition towards developmental probs, then maybe reconsider things like u/s during pg.

But that's YOUR CHOICE. Maybe the probs were caused by pregnant mothers getting flu shots or smoking or eating MSG or god knows what? I'm not trying to invalidate the pp who believes u/s is the cause of her child's problems. If she believes this, then it likely is and I feel bad for her And to believe something so fervently and feel as if you're not in turn believed sucks, no matter what the topic.

But how I respond to that belief is my choice. I personally think there are far worse things that could affect my unborn child than u/s. And most of these are things people continue to do while pg without a second thought. But I also agree that in any situation, moderation is the key.

So I'm not going overboard with u/s nor did I rent a doppler, but the peace of mind for me has been invaluable and as such, I chose to have the u/s I've had. And there's one more scheduled to go and I'll keep it.

Because to me it's less risk than for instance those pg women who drink coffee every day, so I gave up coffee, because that's MY CHOICE. Don't bash me as some coffee-hater, please. I adore the stuff. I just think caffeine and ADD/ADHD are linked, yet I know I have ZERO proof -- just a gut feeling. So I don't preach about it -- I just practice it.

Make sense?

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#28 of 28 Old 11-28-2005, 09:24 PM
 
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No u/s here!

With dd, we weren't educated on them when we had hers at 18 weeks. But, after we learned about the controversy (and actually watched a video of the reaction of human cells undergoing u/s) over them we no longer allowed our midwife to use doppler either.

This time we pretty much knew from the beginning that we would forego the u/s. I wouldn't terminate a pregnancy regardless of what any test showed anyway...so there really was no point in doing it.

I especially agree that 1st trimester u/s shouldn't be standard. There is actually compelling research that shows it to be most harmful prior to 8 weeks. Unfortunately, many OB's are making it standard to date pregnancy in 1st tri. That fact alone helped me weed out a couple of OBs when I was interviewing them.

Thankfully, now that we've settled on homebirth...it's not an issue. Our midwife doesn't do u/s anyway.

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