tracking down some more info...bear with me...there is a lot here but it is all WORTH READING!!!!!!!!!
This first one is from the FDA...here is a summary....but I encourage EVERYONE to read the full report athttp://www.fda.gov/FDAC/features/2004/104_images.html
FDA Cautions Against Ultrasound 'Keepsake' Images
By Carol Rados
It's risky business taking pictures of unborn babies when there's no medical need to do so. That's the word from the Food and Drug Administration, which is concerned about companies trying to turn an important medical procedure into a prenatal portrait tool.
Facilities with captivating names such as Fetal Fotos, Peek-a-Boo, Womb with a View, and Baby Insight are popping up in strip malls and shopping centers all over the country. And they're promoting "keepsake videos" that use the latest ultrasound technology to produce high-resolution three-dimensional and four-dimensional (moving) images showing the surface anatomy of babies developing in the womb. The lure of this burgeoning industry is that parents-to-be get to see characteristics like facial features, hair, and even the baby's sex, and often they can count fingers and toes before their baby is born. Some women even have videos made at various stages of their baby's growth. And the videos are often being marketed as a prized addition to collections of childhood memorabilia.
As compelling as these sneak previews may be, the FDA is warning women about the potential hazards of getting keepsake videos. The agency also is warning companies against creating them for entertainment purposes. While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.
A consumer alert published in 2004 from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against taking ultrasound images when there is no medical need for them. The FDA says, "While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea."
The FDA goes on to say, "Ultrasonic fetal scanning, from a medical standpoint, generally is considered safe if properly used when information is needed about a pregnancy. Still, ultrasound is a form of energy, and even at low levels, laboratory studies have shown it can produce physical effects in tissue, such as jarring vibrations and a rise in temperature. Although there is no evidence that these physical effects can harm a fetus, the FDA says the fact that these effects exist means that prenatal ultrasounds can't be considered completely innocuous."
Here is something from The Cochrane Review (very respected)...it is the summary of some research regarding the use of doppler ultrasound (yes, doppler is ultrasound)...
Routine Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy does not have health benefits for women or babies, and may do some harm.
Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the movement of blood. It is used in pregnancy to study blood circulation in the baby, uterus and placenta. Using it in high-risk pregnancies where there is concern about baby's condition reduces the risk of the baby dying and the need for interventions around birth, such as caesarean section. However, its value as a screening tool in all pregnancies is limited by complications being rare, and the greater possibility of unnecessary intervention and adverse effects. The review of trials of routine Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy found that it does not improve the health of either the woman or baby, and it may do some harm.
these seem to be well-referenced...http://www.alternamoms.com/ultrasound.html
this next one centers around the whole "3D ultrasound" but also speaks to regular ultrasound as well:http://www.askquestions.org/articles/ultrasound/
Here is a post from another forum, granted the link to her resources is not still active, it is still interesting:
U/S and Doppler are very risky- And most of the risk is yet unknown. The problem is that the cells within the womb heat up- you have to bounce the waves off of something and that causes energy and energy causes heat- The problem is that the womb is a very sensitive environment and any think that changes the balance can be harmful- how do we know if U/S or Doppler cause childhood cancer or not? How do we know if U/S or Doppler's cause birth defects or not? I mean one can even go as far as to say how do we know that either doesn't cause Autism? Or at least play a factor in some of these illnesses that the cause is unknown or at least shaky. Doppler is worse than U/S if you have to put one up against the other- it is higher waves and it is Doppler waves- both U/S and Doppler have been said to sound like a jack hammer to a fetus. That is why a baby gets more active when either is used.
Here is some more info on U/S risk and danger. http://www.npchat.com/6/forum/kb.php?mode=article&k=5
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM):
The AIUM advocates the responsible use of diagnostic ultrasound. The AIUM strongly discourages the non-medical use of ultrasound for psychosocial or entertainment purposes. The use of either two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound to only view the fetus, obtain a picture of the fetus or determine the fetal gender without a medical indication is inappropriate and contrary to responsible medical practice. Although there are no confirmed biological effects on patients caused by exposures from present diagnostic ultrasound instruments, the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future. Thus ultrasound should be used in a prudent manner to provide medical benefit to the patient.
I also read this interesting comment someone in another forum here on MDC wrote...
"The dangers of anxiety/depression cycles in pregnancy are well-known, so I chose to use the doppler to alleviate that almost completely." Makes a point that if you are prone to anxiety/depression and hearing the heartbeat makes a huge difference, it is understandable and is probable that this could outweigh the unknown risks of the ultrasound waves. But if you can do without or find other means to reduce anxiety, it would be the safest option.
Does this make sense? Kind of a neat point though.
If you search "doppler" and "ultrasound" here on mothering.com you can certainly come up with some interesting facts and discussions.
I guess my big problem with it is how it is used so routinely without any medical indication
. As a Mama, as someone who cares about our pregnancy and birth culture, and as a general member of society...this just down-right concerns me when THE RISKS ARE JUST NOT COMPLETELY KNOWN!!!!! It seems that using these technologies, especially regularly and extra especially if you are doing it at home frequently with an over-the-counter machine...should cause MORE worry and concern than just letting things be and getting really good prenatal care.
Does that make sense??!!
I guess I really do get fired up about this stuff!!!