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#1 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With everyone getting ultrasounds (or so it seems), I had to post this...

I had my ultrasound at 19w (last Thursday0. For some reason, although I've been fairly good at researching everything before I give it the go ahead, I never thought to look further into the ultrasounds. Because I'm not as healthy and natural as I'd like, I still have some caffeine and sugar occasionally and didn't think much of having half a soda before as a guarantee for some movement so we could see (and connect with) this little unbelievable surprise...and I felt awful when I saw (and felt, like I hadn't yet) how much he was squirming. It wasn't until I got home that I realized it wasn't the poking or the drink, but the noise/heat. (?) I searched for more articles, but I haven't found/read too many yet. I am already pretty sure that I won't be getting another ultrasound with this one and definitely only one halfway through with any others. I had two different early ones (6w and 10w), one of those as the ooh-aah high def. 3D ones...and I don't regret it, but...

Basically, this is a long post about how I had my first mommy moment, in knowing that something was wrong without anything other than a 100% certain feeling to back it up. I don't think that they're crazy harmful, but I do think (now, in a way that never occurred to me before) that they're more than unpleasant. I just wanted to know (without bias in any way) how you guys feel about ultrasounds/scans, if you've ever researched them and if anyone felt anything like this as well? I need to know/hear more!
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#2 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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I don't fear ultrasounds, but the lackadaisical attitude I see towards them bothers me. I'm in Canada, and here you get one ultrasound around 20 weeks unless there is a medical reason to have others, and that is rare. I read on these boards about people getting ultrasounds at their first appointment, at random times "just to get a peek at baby", and the part that disturbs me most of all is the increasing business of mall ultrasound shops like 'Fetal Fotos'. I don't think I could easily explain why, but all that together makes me uneasy.

So no, I don't think one ultrasound is a risky thing. But why so many when they aren't needed? The vanity aspect is disturbing.
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#3 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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I don't think that they are superharmful, but like the pp said, I think the very relaxed attitude about them (like just to get a peek, or having one at EVERY office visit) is a little worrysome and getting all those scans could be harmful. Who knows?

It's wise to be aware of the dangers, I think, and just go based off of what you decide. Everyone has their own line in the sand with what they are comfortable with. Especially since the jury is out on how safe/not safe routine scans are.

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#4 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm not sure if I agree with any of the following, I'm just passing along things i've heard. I'm not having an ultrasound for a separate set of reasons that have more to do with my mental stability then the baby's physical comfort.

I read an article that ventured an educated guess that having an ultrasound would be for the baby like us standing underneath a helicopter 20ft above the ground. Certainly not going to kill ya, but not plesant.

My midwife explained that there is research to suggest that the ultrasound technology could cause tiny pockets of (air or liquid, I forget) to "pop" or come to the surface or something, which could be harmful in large quantities and if nothing else painful in fetal tissues. She said that even though they haven't found ultrasounds to be harmful yet, many researchers don't understand WHY harmful effects are not being found. She scared my SO enough that he is completly against having a scan (much more passionatly then me.)

Would love to hear some opinions on the subject from people who know more about it then me.
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#5 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I honestly believe they just squirm a lot anyway, no matter whether we're looking or not. There's a whole neurological system developing and connecting and firing away. Look at how much newborns fidget outside the womb

I think ultrasound has a place when it's used wisely. I don't think it's helpful when it's used constantly, and I do think sometimes it picks up on things that would have resolved themselves and we otherwise wouldn't have worried about. We have to be careful not to get too reliant on it. For example, I'd NEVER agree to an induction at 38-40 based on a fetal weight by ultrasound. They can be off by as much as 2 lbs at that point.

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#6 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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I'm a believer in the idea that the baby doesn't like the noise from u/s. I'm also at peace with the 2 I've had. I would've rather not had them at all but I made the decision to have them after I'd done my research. I also have DH to consider. We don't make decisions without the other one and he was not ok with declining the 20wk u/s. The one at 14wk was because we had some concerns about placenta previa and my cervix being open.
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#7 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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I've had more than is strictly necessary, my doc office has a little one they pulled out when they couldn't find the HB when they thought they should. In one (10 weeks?) she was waving her arms, at my 12 week NT scan she was completely still, and at my 18 wk fetal survey she was moving, but not like crazy. The variation in her behavior would lead me to think the US was not affecting her. That said, that will be our last one unless something goes wrong. My baby definitely jumps around after I eat or drink. I really would think that's the reason for the activity in your little one.

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#8 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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I don't know a lot about it, and the problem is that we don't know enough about it. I think that a 20 week US is a good idea though, especially to detect potential problems like placenta previa which is life threatening and can only be detected with an US.

So, don't feel bad, but I definately would start asking questions if they started doing it at every check up. Some Drs do that, because they can get more insurance money and that's just unnecessary!
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#9 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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What I've seen and read in my journey as an aspiring midwife has led me to believe that ultrasounds are unnecessary unless medically indicated.

The fact that they have been proven to have effects on the cellular level, but nothing has been conclusively proven on the organism level (meaning, the whole baby seems fine) except that they are not 100% sure they are safe has led me to decline any ultrasounds unless my midwife suspects some condition that ultrasound would help diagnose.

I would unhesitatingly use ultrasound if I was measuring way too large or small, or if the baby was breech to determine what kind of breech and if the head was flexed to avoid a c-sec, but I don't feel comfortable using it to find out the gender or just to make sure there are 10 fingers and 10 toes. We also would not terminate this pg if something was "wrong" on the ultrasound, so I'd prefer to spend my pg happy instead of dreading whatever they'd found.

This is just what works for our family.

ETA: Placenta previa CAN be detected without a 20 wk ultrasound... when you start spotting/bleeding when you being to dilate. It's not something you can't transfer to a hospital for and often resolves itself as your uterus grows bigger after a 20 wk ultrasound. Just FYI...

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#10 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
I've had more than is strictly necessary, my doc office has a little one they pulled out when they couldn't find the HB when they thought they should. In one (10 weeks?) she was waving her arms, at my 12 week NT scan she was completely still, and at my 18 wk fetal survey she was moving, but not like crazy. The variation in her behavior would lead me to think the US was not affecting her. That said, that will be our last one unless something goes wrong. My baby definitely jumps around after I eat or drink. I really would think that's the reason for the activity in your little one.
Thank you for your input, Qestia. I was so fixated on my painful ultrasound 2 weeks ago and the baby's just not cooperating, that when I went and started researching about u/s, I freaked out. I'm glad that your experience gives you peace of mind, and it helps mine too. Thanks.
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#11 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I only had one ultrasound with my oldest and two with my youngest. Both of them I had around 20 w. With my youngest, they did the ultrasound while I was in labor to find out if he was big enough to be born 4 weeks pre-term (as if they were going to stop him?) Not afraid of them but can live with just one.
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#12 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber Lion View Post
What I've seen and read in my journey as an aspiring midwife has led me to believe that ultrasounds are unnecessary unless medically indicated.

The fact that they have been proven to have effects on the cellular level, but nothing has been conclusively proven on the organism level (meaning, the whole baby seems fine) except that they are not 100% sure they are safe has led me to decline any ultrasounds unless my midwife suspects some condition that ultrasound would help diagnose.

I would unhesitatingly use ultrasound if I was measuring way too large or small, or if the baby was breech to determine what kind of breech and if the head was flexed to avoid a c-sec, but I don't feel comfortable using it to find out the gender or just to make sure there are 10 fingers and 10 toes. We also would not terminate this pg if something was "wrong" on the ultrasound, so I'd prefer to spend my pg happy instead of dreading whatever they'd found.

This is just what works for our family.

ETA: Placenta previa CAN be detected without a 20 wk ultrasound... when you start spotting/bleeding when you being to dilate. It's not something you can't transfer to a hospital for and often resolves itself as your uterus grows bigger after a 20 wk ultrasound. Just FYI...
:

I had decided to get one with DS for reasons I felt were valid for *that* pregnancy, and the fact that *I* was uncomfortably warm wherever the wand went was enough to make me think long and hard about whether those reasons applied to this pregnancy (they don't).

As of now, for me, with normal measurements, no spotting, abnormal cramping, or other concerns, that means none.

I think they have their place, and don't get all "ohmygod, like, how totally BLAH" about women making the decision they feel is best if that decision means a scan. That place just isn't with me, now.
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#13 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kim919 View Post
[B]

I read an article that ventured an educated guess that having an ultrasound would be for the baby like us standing underneath a helicopter 20ft above the ground. Certainly not going to kill ya, but not plesant.
I heard it was like a sonic jet hovering overhead! Yikes. I'd rather have a helicopter.

This is a topic I was totally going to start because I'm fast approaching my 18 week scheduled u/s. I'm still on the fence. With my first babe I got one at 7 weeks because of some bleeding and then again at the prescribed 18 week one but now, I don't know. I don't regret the ones with Edie but there are still some question marks there and a part of me would like to see if maybe I could stay even more intuitive with this birth if I just trust my body.

My mw told me that one interesting piece of correlation is the increased rate of lefthandedness since u/s have been more regularly used (but then my friend suggested that in "the old days" teachers were more strict with "making" kids right handed).

Even the doppler I don't trust anymore (I'm going to hold out on that one too).
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#14 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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^I will also be declining the use of doppler whenever I can, especially now that I know the heartbeat can be found with a fetoscope.
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#15 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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I trust the safety of a doppler even less than I trust the safety of an ultrasound. I haven't used one (doppler) and I won't be. I am happy because I *should* be able to use a fetoscope now.....I haven't even tried yet though.

Jaclyn, Madly in with DH, Scott. Mama to Calli Elizabeth (23 months) & our new little man, Bode Keam (9 weeks).
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#16 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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:

The doppler is an even more concentrated version of the scan - so is electronic fetal monitoring. I will use them if needed, but I'm avoiding them until that time.

Mama to my Addie Bug wool.gif (10/2008) and angel1.gif (6/2010); nursing student & childbirth educator
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#17 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Silly question but do you think most OB's have a fetoscope available?

How does electronic fetal monitoring stack up against this? Is it the same technology?
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#18 of 23 Old 06-02-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Yep, EFM is ultrasound. It's one of the reasons they suggest intermittent use instead of constant monitoring.

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#19 of 23 Old 06-03-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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With DS I was not aware of the risks with US and like so many other things I just got it done because that is what ppl did. I had an early 8 weeks u/s, which I didn't really want and thought was pretty stupid. And I still don't know if I will get another u/s this pg. I want gender to be a surprise anyway but DH wants to know... I don't think that they cause harm to the baby when used properly (and not like women/doctors who get the done like every other week and like 3 3d u/s and all that ooh aah crap) and can be used to detect certain things, like defects, which for some people would be helpful to know before the baby came. I don't think that I am one of those ppl. I would never terminate my child, both for religion and moral values and I don't know, as I have never experienced it, if I would like all those 20 weeks for the baby to be born with a "defect" and be worried and all that when it isn't even a guarantee that my child would have that...

That said, now that I HAVE researched doppler use, I will be declining the use of that at all prenatals and during labor, although I don't think that my MW will have a problem with that and I am almost positive that she will have a fetascope and that at 22 weeks, will be able to detect the HB anyway.

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#20 of 23 Old 06-03-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amber Lion View Post

ETA: Placenta previa CAN be detected without a 20 wk ultrasound... when you start spotting/bleeding when you being to dilate. It's not something you can't transfer to a hospital for and often resolves itself as your uterus grows bigger after a 20 wk ultrasound. Just FYI...
This is exactly why I'm hating the fact that I had a scan at 13 weeks. I was damned either way I guess cause I needed to find out if I was carrying two babies, which I wasn't *but* my placenta was a marginal previa. Now I'm in between a rock and a hard place b/c my mw can't attend me if I dont get a repeat scan to rule out previa, even though we know with high certainty that it will move up. In my case though, if it doesn't move up beyond the lower uterine segment I could be risked out of homebirth. When there's a documented finding on u/s it can really screw with your birth plans.

Ashley~certified nurse-midwife mama to 6 little novaxnocirc.gifhomebirth.jpglotbirth.gif loves, including sweet Cordelia Jane born at home waterbirth.jpgon 11/12/10.
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#21 of 23 Old 06-03-2008, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the input so far, ladies!

I'm meeting with one of my midwives today and she said she's got some info. for me, formal studies, etc. on the few things (including this) that I've been really wondering about. I'll post them (if I can) when I get them. (One mentions changes in growth for over 3 u/s?)

As for the movement, the reason I noticed was the type/level of movement. The tech suggested that it was simply because I had a visual to connect with the kicks, but it was definitely not that. Again, I don't regret it, I think it wasn't harmful, but I had that I'm-the-mom-and-I-know feeling that all of his frantic squirming (I still have yet to feel him move halfway as intense otherwise) was because of the u/s itself.

Someone else mentioned how they thought about the heat too, I'm glad that wasn't just me. And there's always the simple fact that it's a tool to search for pathology, meaning there may be further steps taken for something unneeded due to extra worry over it.

I'm still glad I did it, but in the spirit of informed and educated moms, I'm also glad it inspired me to research further.
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#22 of 23 Old 06-03-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Changed View Post
Silly question but do you think most OB's have a fetoscope available?
I don't even think most OBs know what they are. Seriously, I've spoken to several in my clinicals and they think a fetoscope is a doppler.

Ashley~certified nurse-midwife mama to 6 little novaxnocirc.gifhomebirth.jpglotbirth.gif loves, including sweet Cordelia Jane born at home waterbirth.jpgon 11/12/10.
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#23 of 23 Old 06-03-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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I'm also in Canada and had my 30 week ultrasound last week. It's the only one I plan on getting. Anyway, I've never felt the baby move as much as during the u/s so I now definitely think it affects them.
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