Anyone NOT doing an ultrasound? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We haven't had one yet and are considering not doing one. For one, it will be really complicated to get it done where insurance will cover (stupid military insurance) OR we'll have to pay an extra $200...

I told DH that, because we plan on keeping the baby no matter what, the big deal for a diagnostic is to get the grieving and planning done NOW if there's something wrong...but I'm really considering forgoing it totally and just putting the entire situation in God's hands.


Thoughts?

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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I'm not. I didn't with my last baby. If there were anything that turned up in the pregnancy that warranted taking a look, we would.
I'm kind of a, "Give me a good reason and I'll think about it" girl anyway, though
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#3 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Will the ins cover it if your provider wants to make sure the baby isn't breach? With my last pregnancy I didn't opt for all of the screening but I did have an ultrasound a few weeks before birth to make sure my son was head down.

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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#4 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I wouldnt do without one. We have had enough complications that there is no way we would opt out of one. We wouldnt terminate and really for me its more then that so we will be having however many we need to, to assure that all is progressing well with placenta and cord. We came very close to a fetal demise with our sixth due to several issues

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#5 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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we don't typically do them and I don't plan on it but have and would if there seemed a necessary reason.
ds1 I had the 18 wk us bcs I didn't realize I could opt out then we had one at 41 wks to get a biophysical done and make sure all was well and give me the go ahead to wait until he arrive on his own at 42 wks.
ds didn't have one
ds3 had one at 7 wks bcs i had 2 losses before him and was so sure he had died that I hadn't slept in 3 days. Slept great afterwards and it really helped with my stress level which I know helps the baby
dd didn't have one
this pg don't plan on it but might choose to have one depending on what my 5ths disease tests come back as and if the us will help in any way then we will have one.
I really think they are like anything. They can be an extremely useful tool but can also be very very overused.

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#6 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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I was kind of surprised that my homebirth midwife and backup family practice midwife really had no opinion on me getting one or not. I guess I figured that lots of people did so I would have to be the one to decline the procedure. But they told me I could get one if I wanted.

We wouldn't do anything different if the baby had a problem EXCEPT not do a homebirth if the baby should be born in the hospital for some reason. Plus, I am a little concerned about what would happen if I had placenta previa and went into labor at home.

Other than those two things, I don't have any reason to get one. So now I'm sort of wondering whether I should or not. I kinda wish my care team had an opinion because it's hard when it's just up to me!

I think what I am going to do is called the u/s place and ask in advance if they can tell me what I will have to pay. If it's $200 or something, then I don't think I will do it since no one is telling me that one is medically necessary. But if it's a copay or something, I might do it just to make sure a homebirth is ok for us.

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#7 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Because of how our insurance works, we will be paying for our ultrasound out of pocket (very high deductible). We will do it though just because it gives me (and DH) peace of mind that things look ok. We would like to know if there is a major problem with baby that would require me to deliver at a hospital with a level 3 NICU. I was transferred to a hospital an hour away with my last baby and after that experience, I would much rather I was the one transferred and not baby. So, that is how my personal experience colors my opinion.

Really, when it comes down to it though, complications are pretty rare.

Lisa, married and mama to 3 kids-ds (7yo), dd (6yo), & ds (2yo)

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#8 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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So, that is how my personal experience colors my opinion.

Really, when it comes down to it though, complications are pretty rare.
Agreed. With my first I am so thankful I opted for the screening and the ultrasounds. We found she had a kidney condition that needed to be monitored from birth. If we didn't have the ultrasound we wouldn't have known until she would have had complications afterward. I am glad we were prepared.

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#9 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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I didn't have any problems getting an US with tri Care. (Military insurance) I don't know if it was because I was the one in the military but they paid in full for everything.

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#10 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Will the ins cover it if your provider wants to make sure the baby isn't breach? With my last pregnancy I didn't opt for all of the screening but I did have an ultrasound a few weeks before birth to make sure my son was head down.
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I didn't have any problems getting an US with tri Care. (Military insurance) I don't know if it was because I was the one in the military but they paid in full for everything.

Big momma
I know I can get it covered...I just have to go on base (because I'm Tricare Prime) and I'm not sure how to do that with a HB Midwife...

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#11 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I wanted to revise that I just got a call from my family practice dr and will be doing an u/s as my test results were positive for fifths disease (parvovirus) and my dr highly recommends a u/s (and he is usually pretty hands off) to look for anemia in the baby as there are things that can be done if the baby also contacted fifths and has any signs of anemia. (I am 16 wks) I think my insurance covers it. sure hope so if not I will have to deal w/ medicaid and didn't want to have to deal with it.

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#12 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I won't be getting an ultrasound unless there is a medical indication. I don't trust that it is completely harmless to my growing baby (or maybe even my other eggs, my future babies!), and without a medical reason, I am not going to take a chance.

Also, perhaps this isn't what a PP meant, but a 20-week ultrasound is way too early to use ultrasound to predict positioning at birth. Ultrasound isn't the only way to check for positioning either, but unfortunately I would imagine that most OBs don't have the palpation skills that most midwives have.

Is your midwife covered under Tricare prime, or are you paying out of pocket? If she is covered, then one routine ultrasound will be covered. It would just be a matter of if the midwife has a lab that she usually uses for ultrasounds. If she doesn't, it would be a pain to change your referral to another provider just for an ultrasound. If you are paying her out of pocket, it should be no problem to just get a regular referral to an OB and go once, to get the ultrasound, if that is what you choose to do.
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#13 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, perhaps this isn't what a PP meant, but a 20-week ultrasound is way too early to use ultrasound to predict positioning at birth. Ultrasound isn't the only way to check for positioning either, but unfortunately I would imagine that most OBs don't have the palpation skills that most midwives have.

Is your midwife covered under Tricare prime, or are you paying out of pocket? If she is covered, then one routine ultrasound will be covered. It would just be a matter of if the midwife has a lab that she usually uses for ultrasounds. If she doesn't, it would be a pain to change your referral to another provider just for an ultrasound. If you are paying her out of pocket, it should be no problem to just get a regular referral to an OB and go once, to get the ultrasound, if that is what you choose to do.
Yeah, DS was transverse (like, jackknifed sideways) during my ultrasound at 22 weeks. He ended up head down (my OB palpated and got it right. I liked her)

No, my midwife is NOT covered. I've heard that she can write me a 'script and get it done on base...I just have yet to call and ask them. Besides, DH wouldn't be allowed in because someone would have to watch DS...so it wouldn't be much fun anyway.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#14 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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Ugh. I just called and found out that I will either pay a $70 copay...or possibly have to pay $300-$500 if my insurance makes me pay the bill and applies it to my deductible. So that doesn't help me with my decision AT ALL! The lady on the phone even told me that if I call my insurance company, they will just tell me that they can't know for sure until they get the bill and determine my coverage, blah, blah, blah. It's hard to get a service when you don't know what you will pay it in advance except that it'll be between $70-$500. GRR!!!!

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#15 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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I am getting one next friday. I was strongly considering not getting it done because like a PP said, it may be harmful to my bb... but I am selfish and want to see the baby. My husband is going to find out the sex and I am going to show off the pictures for the next 5 months. There is no financial concern because I am in Canada but if I had to pay for it, I would not get it done.
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#16 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Not planning on it this time, depending.
I had a cesarean my first (ugh, could have been avoided if I had been better informed of my rights, if I had known CNMs are NOT the same thing as homebirth midwives generally, if, if if.) and a homebirth my second.

I would get an ultrasound this time if there were any indication of need, like my midwife felt or heard something that gave her cause for concern.

My only caveat is whether the increase in the chance of a placenta problem stemming from my cesarean, is still the same chance this time, as is was last time. If it is, I had the U/S last time, before the homebirth, and all was normal as of the 20 week u/s with the baby and placenta.

This time, if I carry the same slightly higher risk of placenta problems from that one cesarean in my past, I might get an u/s just to be sure all was go for homebirth this time as well.
However, if having already had a subsequent pregnancy without placenta issues, means I am pretty much back to the normal baseline risk for placenta issues, of a woman who didn't ever have a cesarean, then I won't worry.

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#17 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Totally not planning to get one unless there's some medical indication. I didn't with my first and am happy that way. I don't want to see the baby yet, don't want to know the gender, would not terminate a pregnancy, and am low-risk for everything. I know that life comes with risks, and I will never be able to be absolutely certain that my child will always be okay, whether before, during, or after birth. I completely understand that for some women having an ultrasound can relieve anxiety, but for me it would cause a lot of anxiety! I also feel like it is an inappropriate intrusion on my baby's privacy, if that makes any sense.

My midwives for my first also did not recommend ultrasounds without some medical indication, and gave us information on the high rate of false positives for problems that didn't actually exist when the baby was born or aborted. So my natural inclinations were given a "scientific" boost. Anyway, that's my take on it.

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#18 of 25 Old 08-04-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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My only caveat is whether the increase in the chance of a placenta problem stemming from my cesarean, is still the same chance this time, as is was last time. If it is, I had the U/S last time, before the homebirth, and all was normal as of the 20 week u/s with the baby and placenta.
I was wondering about this with my pregnancy. My last birth (second child) was a cesarean birth. I think the tech is going to be annoyed with me in a few weeks with all of my questions.

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#19 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to give an update.

We wavered back and forth for a while on getting an u/s. All our midwife would really say was that the medical indication would be my age at the time of the birth. I think she really tries to stay neutral and not give her opinion but that comment made me feel like maybe it would be a good idea to get one.

We went to an OB who only does ultrasound now, no deliveries, and often gets referrals from my homebirth midwife so he knew we were having a homebirth. Luckily, he didn't make any negative comments about that.

It was really neat to see the baby. But on the other hand, we had to hear about the chances of DS, why an amnio is a good idea, chances of all sorts of other things, etc. Let's just say I'm glad I'm seeing midwives because it was definitely a very different vibe in there. I can see how people get scared or guilted into having tests done.

We did want to see the position of the placenta and know about anything that would make it safer for the baby to be born in a hospital. The doctor said that everything looks normal (thank goodness) and just said that he recommends a scan during the third trimester to catch things that he can't see as well in the second. We aren't planning on having an additional scan.

I am not sure, in retrospect, if I would do the ultrasound again. Of course, that's easy to say when everything checks out normally. I mean, it's nice to know everything appears to be fine but it also seems like overkill in some ways. And, like I think one of the pp said, it does sort of feel like you are invading your baby's privacy! Like you are watching them and they have no idea! Poor little baby!

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#20 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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We were originally only going to have the ~20 week anatomy scan done, since I'm planning on giving birth at a birth center and wanted to make sure everything checked out ok (ie there wasn't anything indicating a hospital birth would be better). I live really far from my family (I'm in southern FL and my family is in eastern Canada) and I'm going to visit them this week, and my mom is throwing a baby shower for me since this is most likely the last time I will be there until well after this baby is born.

A couple of weeks ago we went for our regular checkup and we asked the midwife if we could schedule our anatomy scan for right before I left for Canada, so we would know the gender. She said it was better to wait until after 20 weeks, but she could get us in for a 'quick dating scan' since we hadn't had one yet and we could find out the gender then. We talked about it and decided to go for it. I was 17 weeks 4 days along on the day the scan was scheduled. When we did get the scan, it was longer than I expected. The tech checked lots of different organs, etc, and explained everything looked good (and announced that he's "definitely" a boy ). At the beginning of the scan he wasn't moving at all and he gradually became more active. Towards the end of the scan, she switched it to 3D and we had a profile image of his head/face. He started putting his arms on his head, over and over again, like he was rubbing his head. He really didn't seem to like the ultrasound, and even the tech seemed a little bit weirded out by it (based on her reaction to it). Even DH seemed to be getting antsy about the whole u/s at this point.

When I got home I did some research and found this article which basically says that ultrasounds can be heard in the womb and that they can be really loud (~100 dB). It also says that the u/s should not be directed right at the baby's ears unless there is an indication to do so. So now I am thinking that when he was in profile he was hearing the u/s and it was loud enough to be uncomfortable (painful?) which would explain why he was putting his arms up over his head

So I've had all this guilt ever since, feeling bad that this selfish u/s (only done for gender purposes) hurt my baby or maybe even affected his hearing in some way. And of course now I don't want to go back for the anatomy scan. It had already been booked for the day after I next see the midwife and I canceled it (I want to talk to the midwife about the risks/benefits at this point). I know they can't see everything as early as we got the scan (17w4d) but everything checked out and there's no real reason to suspect anything is wrong. Of course on the other hand, I've been on some (necessary) medications that *could* cause birth defects. I've been on prednisone for colitis for some time, and I took Imodium in the first trimester (the pharmacist said it was ok but when my GI doc found out he was concerned, and when I looked into it there was a possible risk of heart defects when taken in the first trimester). So I'm really torn. If I hadn't taken the meds I would probably not be getting another u/s done after all the guilt associated with the last one.

Argh ... I wish this was easier. And I know this is just the beginnings of worry/guilt/hard decisions (this is my first)
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#21 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Fyvel - Don't feel guilty about what you didn't know in the past. Just take what you know now, and make the best decision you can. What do you feel in your heart? If you feel like there may be something that an ultrasound would show, and you could make useful decisions knowing, then maybe an ultrasound is a good idea. If you feel like everything is ok, it probably is. Don't stress. You'll make the right decision.
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#22 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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ok hijacking your DDC...

@ AFwife: With my Tricare referral (my birthing center is covered under Prime, yeah!) I received a note saying that Tricare does not cover routine ultrasounds, only medical indication is warranted... So it was off the table for us for a while, and our base has no maternity care (luckily though). I didn't want any u/s apart from maybe the 20 week scan, all others make no sense to me unless truly warranted. Anyways, my midwives referred me to their backup doc for the 20 week scan, but they cannot put it through to Tricare more than 30 days ahead of the procedure (will be October 4th). They'll try different billing codes and know about Tricare issues... If it's not approved, we'll cancel the appointment and have no u/s. I'm not gonna pay $1400 - that is how much they billed Tricare with DS for the 20 week scan and Tricare actually did pay them that much... So that's a little much! I could do it while in Germany for 185 Euros with a perinatologist... DH wants to know the gender, she could write it in a letter for DH cause I don't wanna know (I'm sure it's a boy, lol). So anyways, I'd love to know what you ended up doing and if you ever tried to get Tricare to pay for it.

@ fyvel: Don't beat yourself up... With DS I had lots of cervical checks u/s to check for its length. (abdominal!) They would always take a quick peek at DS and he always, always covered his ears and face with his hands and moved away. I didn't think much of it back then, it has only been recently that I became more aware of u/s side effects. That's why we want to limit it to a minimum, but I do feel, if covered, that an anatomy scan might be beneficial.
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#23 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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My baby was covering his/her ears and trying to get away from the u/s too. I was more worried about it heating up the tissues (I think that is one of the concerns), but that was even more of a concern for me when they wanted me to have the 6 week u/s.

For me, I don't know if u/s is unsafe, so my take on it is to just use it if needed. It's probably completely safe but there's always that small chance. We didn't really feel the need to have it done (our instincts were not telling us that anything needed to be checked on) and I think that's where I have a little guilt. But on the other hand, I had a medical indication and I'm ok with one. Hopefully, nothing will come up where we need any more.

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#24 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@ AFwife: With my Tricare referral (my birthing center is covered under Prime, yeah!) I received a note saying that Tricare does not cover routine ultrasounds, only medical indication is warranted... So it was off the table for us for a while, and our base has no maternity care (luckily though). I didn't want any u/s apart from maybe the 20 week scan, all others make no sense to me unless truly warranted. Anyways, my midwives referred me to their backup doc for the 20 week scan, but they cannot put it through to Tricare more than 30 days ahead of the procedure (will be October 4th). They'll try different billing codes and know about Tricare issues... If it's not approved, we'll cancel the appointment and have no u/s. I'm not gonna pay $1400 - that is how much they billed Tricare with DS for the 20 week scan and Tricare actually did pay them that much... So that's a little much! I could do it while in Germany for 185 Euros with a perinatologist... DH wants to know the gender, she could write it in a letter for DH cause I don't wanna know (I'm sure it's a boy, lol). So anyways, I'd love to know what you ended up doing and if you ever tried to get Tricare to pay for it.
They ended up covering mine and I got it done on base. The midwife just had to fax over a letter saying that she wanted one for Gestational age/growth and to see about the bleeding I'd been having. (That last one was the BIG reason for going...I wanted to make sure I didn't have previa or something)

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#25 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Fyvel - Don't feel guilty about what you didn't know in the past. Just take what you know now, and make the best decision you can. What do you feel in your heart? If you feel like there may be something that an ultrasound would show, and you could make useful decisions knowing, then maybe an ultrasound is a good idea. If you feel like everything is ok, it probably is. Don't stress. You'll make the right decision.
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Originally Posted by nia82 View Post
@ fyvel: Don't beat yourself up... With DS I had lots of cervical checks u/s to check for its length. (abdominal!) They would always take a quick peek at DS and he always, always covered his ears and face with his hands and moved away. I didn't think much of it back then, it has only been recently that I became more aware of u/s side effects. That's why we want to limit it to a minimum, but I do feel, if covered, that an anatomy scan might be beneficial.

Thank you! One part of me is thinking that everything is fine, to just let it go, we've had one already that didn't show any issues so everything is probably ok. The other part of me is thinking "well, what if"... I hate "what ifs"

We're going to talk to the midwife about it. We thought we didn't want to do the blood work for DS, etc screening either. But the midwife talked it through with us, asking us if we would terminate under any conditions (which I would only do if a fatal defect, and even then it would be a hard decision). She explained that in my state there is a limit on how late you can have an abortion, even if there is a fatal defect, and waiting until the anatomy scan would be leaving it too late, and then I wouldn't even have the option in case of a fatal defect. So she talked us into it (and everything came out fine!), so I'm hoping she will have some clarity on the anatomy scan that will help us to decide too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gemasita View Post
My baby was covering his/her ears and trying to get away from the u/s too. I was more worried about it heating up the tissues (I think that is one of the concerns), but that was even more of a concern for me when they wanted me to have the 6 week u/s.
You know, that was my concern too - that the tissues were heating up and causing pain. When I first found the article about the sound I was a bit relieved that there was another explanation!

We didn't have any ultrasounds before this one, so it's the only one he's been exposed to so far.

Quote:
For me, I don't know if u/s is unsafe, so my take on it is to just use it if needed. It's probably completely safe but there's always that small chance. We didn't really feel the need to have it done (our instincts were not telling us that anything needed to be checked on) and I think that's where I have a little guilt. But on the other hand, I had a medical indication and I'm ok with one. Hopefully, nothing will come up where we need any more.



I know how you feel. Everyone swears up and down that the ultrasounds are safe, and a lot of studies don't show any problems... but there are also some studies out there that do show a negative impact, and those concern me. It's obviously not a huge problem considering how many babies receive multiple ultrasounds and turn out ok.
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