on the fence about ultrasounds. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is anyone here not getting one? i am on the fence. dp would like to get one about halfway through to make sure things are all good. that is what we did last time. we don't really want to find out if we are having a boy or a girl, we didn't last time and i loved the surprise. w dd we ended up having 3 ultrasounds, but that was because we were going to an OB, and i just thought it was routine.

i have read a lot on the safety of ultrasounds and part of me feels like it's not really worth it, and i should be trusting in my body and my baby and everything, right?

hmm.
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#2 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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I would never have an ultrasound unless I had a reason to suspect something is wrong. In that case, I think they are a valuable piece of technology and the benefits can sometimes outweigh the risks.

But for most ultrasounds, the question I ask is, What would I do with the information? Would it actually make me change something I was doing? Would I choose to terminate a pregnancy or induce a baby who wouldn't survive? And what about all of the false diagnoses that are made via ultrasound?

Ultrasound has never been proven safe. Nor has it been proven dangerous. Ultrasound does heat the tissues around where the ultrasound waves travel. There are a number of problems some studies have linked with ultrasound. For me, I would not choose to have an ultrasound without a sound medical reason (many of which exist, but even then, the choice is yours).

I have never had a single ultrasound while pregnant. I think I would consider one if I was reasonably sure I was having twins, just to check for TTTS. Or if baby was transverse and I chose to try a more interventive method of turning the baby. There are probably other reasons where I'd choose one, but those are the first that jump to my mind.

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#3 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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#4 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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I don't feel worried about ultrasounds. I will have one just to keep my OB's office off my back; they always do at least one, and I'm already turning down some of their testing, so I am okay with doing this one.

Of course I also just want the reassurance of seeing the babe.
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#5 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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I dont want one this this time around, but DP is insisting on one, only b/c he wants to know the sex. He's absolutely insistant on that, my MW doesnt do them, so I guess we'll go through the hospital MWs office for that..but I agree with the other about not getting one.

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#6 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 08:41 PM
 
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I always get one around 20 wks. I'll also get one at 8 wks this time to check for twins. I'm not worried about it.

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#7 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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Okay so I was on the fence if I should post here. I have had two m/c. My first I found out at 16 weeks that the baby had passed at 8 weeks. I went two months, telling people, getting into maternity close, skipped tree gliding with my friends, stayed out of my hot tub- all because I thought I was growing a baby. I had the chance to get an u/s at 12 week when my m/w couldn't find the heartbeat with a doppler, but turned it down. My uterus grew the whole time and I never even spotted. I finnaly caved at 16 weeks to see a tiny baby in a home too big. So I'm one of the few who wished I had one. It wouldn't have change the outcome for my baby, but would have been better for me. I had told everyone.
That being said, I don't think my story is the norm. I know u/s have not been proven safe. It's a hard one.
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#8 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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Doesn't even ACOG not recommend their routine use in normal pregnancies? I swear I remember reading that somewhere. I don't plan to have one this time around unless there are indications for it.
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#9 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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I'm sorry Christine. That must have been so hard.

I will not be getting an u/s or any tests. The only reason I would want to get an u/s is to make sure there is a baby in there and growing. But I just want to believe I will grow a healthy baby and think positive.

Last time I started at an OB and had one at 8 wks and one at 12 wks when they couldn't find the HB with a doppler. This time I might ask my midwife not to even try to find the hb until 14 or 16 wks because I don't want to go through that fear again (especially since I want to avoid u/s). I refused a 20 wk u/s because by that time I had done some research and wanted to avoid having anymore.

The main reason I don't want to have any u/s this time is because I have heard SO MANY stories about women being needlessly freaked out by u/s (things like wrong measurements for kidneys, wholes in the brain, heart anatomy, size of baby-- too big or too small, signs of down's syndrome, etc.) And ALL of these stories turned out to be that the women were worried for NO reason at all and their babies turned out to be fine.

Conversely, I know a women who had all the tests and ultrasounds and they were all fine--- she turned out to have a baby with a severe genetic disorder and died at 4 wks old

For these reasons I have decided not to put myself (or the baby) through an u/s. I really hope everything goes well and I don't have to have any-- or any tests at all.

Last pg I also had a quad screen. I went through a hellish month or 2 deciding whether to have it. With all the false positives that occur, I decided not to have one this time. I feel relieved about it.

I am so glad that I am with a group of ladies who are open about the prospect of not getting tests or u/s. With my last pg I didn't know about MDC and I was part of a mainstream DDC-- everyone thought I was a total weirdo for not wanting a 20 wk u/s:. Most women wanted as many u/s as they could get. Some even went to shopping malls to get u/s.

Thanks for listening.
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#10 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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I'll do the 20 week one to check on things and find out the sex but no others unless a problem is shown.

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#11 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christinespurlock View Post
:
Okay so I was on the fence if I should post here. I have had two m/c. My first I found out at 16 weeks that the baby had passed at 8 weeks. I went two months, telling people, getting into maternity close, skipped tree gliding with my friends, stayed out of my hot tub- all because I thought I was growing a baby. I had the chance to get an u/s at 12 week when my m/w couldn't find the heartbeat with a doppler, but turned it down. My uterus grew the whole time and I never even spotted. I finnaly caved at 16 weeks to see a tiny baby in a home too big. So I'm one of the few who wished I had one. It wouldn't have change the outcome for my baby, but would have been better for me. I had told everyone.
That being said, I don't think my story is the norm. I know u/s have not been proven safe. It's a hard one.
This happened to me also, around 17 weeks which was my first visit to the midwife. When they couldn't find a heartbeat I consented to u/s to see if baby was okay, of course he wasn't. But I know in the future that I probably will not get an ultrasound, although I have been on the fence a bit. I considered getting a really quick scan to check for spina bifida as I would probably not birth that baby vaginally, all other findings I don't find valid before the birth. If there was a great concern that something was wrong with baby I would also probably have an u/s done, but not as routine.

I have to say 1 is better than the 30 my friends all love having done! :

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#12 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 09:43 PM
 
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American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "Routine Ultrasound in Low-Risk Pregnancy, ACOG Practice Patterns: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Clinical Issues," Obstetrics and Gynecology 5 (August 1997)

Okay, apparently this article put out by ACOG recommends against routine ultrasound in low-risk pregnancies and was cited in this Mothering article.

There was also this in a Forbes magazine article last year:
Quote:
While ACOG recommends that ultrasound examinations be done for specific reasons, such as a suspected ectopic pregnancy, a possible miscarriage or detection of possible birth defects, many physicians include one examination as part of routine care, at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation estimates that 70 percent of American women have at least one ultrasound examination during their pregnancy.
I was sure there was more explicit info than that, but that's what I've found with quick Google search. Either way, I figure if ACOG is actually willing to admit that it shouldn't be done on a routine basis, that's enough for me to say no.
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#13 of 23 Old 11-12-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by quarteralien View Post
Okay, apparently this article put out by ACOG recommends against routine ultrasound in low-risk pregnancies and was cited in this Mothering article.
My understanding, after reading the actual statement by the ACOG, was that they don't recommend doing routine ultrasounds but they also don't recommend NOT doing routine ultrasounds. I can't find it again right now, though. :

Regardless, I'm on the fence right now myself. I'm going to skip the early scan, but I might get one at 20 weeks. If I was going to be in the hospital I'd skip that one too, but for a homebirth I'd be more comfortable with a shot at a little more information.

I'm more concerned about repeated doppler exposure during prenatals than the ultrasound scans, honestly. Much higher doses.

Edit to add: Found it.
http://homepage.mac.com/shettigar/MS3/Ultrasound.pdf
Recommends against "casual use" of ultrasound, but also says "If a patient requests ultrasonography, it is reasonable to honor the request. The decision ultimately rests with the physician and the patient jointly"
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#14 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lorette View Post
The main reason I don't want to have any u/s this time is because I have heard SO MANY stories about women being needlessly freaked out by u/s (things like wrong measurements for kidneys, wholes in the brain, heart anatomy, size of baby-- too big or too small, signs of down's syndrome, etc.) And ALL of these stories turned out to be that the women were worried for NO reason at all and their babies turned out to be fine.
Yup. We had a very early u/s with DD because I was really irregular when TTC that time, so my EDD was way off from theirs. While they were at it, they checked DD's nuchal translucency and found it was too thick, and I swear it was like they were excited to have found something! The tech got the doc and he reinserted the awful phallic vaginal u/s thing without asking/telling me first, and then gave us completely flawed information about the likelihood of Down's. And then pressured us to do amnio, CVS, and genetic counseling. Amnio and CVS I turned down flat, the counseling, I made the appt and then cancelled it. We actually did have another u/s further down the road and, you guessed it, DD was fine! I have a cousin who was told her baby would have no brain, and she was also fine!
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#15 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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woo. well i just told dp that i want to skip it. and he was like, "ok." so that was a lot easier than i thought.

i am feeling very trusting of my body and my baby right now. so this is a good thing.
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#16 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 08:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I'm more concerned about repeated doppler exposure during prenatals than the ultrasound scans, honestly. Much higher doses.
YES. That is very true. My midwife and I reserve the doppler for active labor only (so that I don't have to change positions to check heartrate). Otherwise I have her use only a fetoscope during pregnancy.

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#17 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 09:14 AM
 
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I actually have one scheduled for tomorrow but that's b/c we did fertility treatments and they need to make sure my ovaries are ok, and not hyperstimulated. They'll obviously check for twins too.

On the reg u/s's, I liked have the 20 wk. Personally, I'm not a good "reactor" and I'd like to know ahead of time (even if I wouldn't do anything different with the information) if there was a major problem with the babe to prepare myself. I'd feel even more strongly if I was HB'ing.

But other than that, no thanks. I tell all my friends to run, run, run from the 37 weeks all the OBs seem to be doing. Too many big baby scares from those.
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#18 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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i am feeling very trusting of my body and my baby right now. so this is a good thing.
This is how I am feeling about this pregnancy too. Last pregnancy I didn't get an ultrasound, but I was less sure of myself and my body, and I worried a lot. It is so great to feel so relaxed and trusting this time around.

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#19 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Edit to add: Found it.
http://homepage.mac.com/shettigar/MS3/Ultrasound.pdf
Recommends against "casual use" of ultrasound, but also says "If a patient requests ultrasonography, it is reasonable to honor the request. The decision ultimately rests with the physician and the patient jointly"
: Is it also reasonable to educate her on the risks and benefits of u/s? Or do you just say You're the boss, I'll do what you want." Which we all know is a double standard, because we have c-secs on demand, but not VBAC's, etc.

*sigh* I've already had one rant today, and I try to limit myself to one per day. Looks like I failed.

I'm also concerned about doppler. I'll have to discuss it with whomever I eventually go with for prenatals.
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#20 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by quarteralien View Post
: Is it also reasonable to educate her on the risks and benefits of u/s? Or do you just say You're the boss, I'll do what you want." Which we all know is a double standard, because we have c-secs on demand, but not VBAC's, etc.

*sigh* I've already had one rant today, and I try to limit myself to one per day. Looks like I failed.

I'm also concerned about doppler. I'll have to discuss it with whomever I eventually go with for prenatals.
Let me know if you need suggestions for homebirth providers or for hospital birth midwives in the capital district. I'll have this one in Bennington, like Aidan but I know the birth scene in the area well.

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#21 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is how I am feeling about this pregnancy too. Last pregnancy I didn't get an ultrasound, but I was less sure of myself and my body, and I worried a lot. It is so great to feel so relaxed and trusting this time around.
yeah. i had a really good mw last time, but this mw is really different. really, i've only interviewed her and read her website so far but she is so trusting in birth and in mamas bodies. i think that is just what i needed to feel that way. dunno. just thought that was kind of cool.

and yeah, i forgot about the doppler. i am pretty sure we will not be using that, either...i guess maybe in labor, but i don't even know about that for sure. i need to think on that some more, guess. good thing i have a jillion weeks to go.
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#22 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Thanks Amy! I'll take you up on that.
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#23 of 23 Old 11-13-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I will be having my u/s at 7 weeks. With my first pregnancy this summer I waited until 9w6d and then found out the baby had stopped growing more than 2 weeks before. For almost 3 weeks I thought I was pregnant and that wasn't the case. Had I had a different experience I would be willing to skip the u/s but now I am just a bit more cautious.

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