To ultrasound or not ultrasound? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh, its killing me. I have no idea if I want to get a ultrasound or not. With my first I had one at 10 weeks. The next time I was adamant I was not getting one and then I went in for my first appointment and I was measuring big. I knew I didn't have to get an u/s but I had to know and sure enough it was twins. So I have my first appointment tomorrow, I will be 5 w 6d. I know she will want one. part of me wants one because I don't feel very pregnant, I want to make sure its just one, and I want to see a heartbeat so I can tell everyone. But then the other side of me just doesn't trust them. So any words of advice before I keep myself up all night worrying about this?

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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Well, I don't trust ultrasounds either and my last two pregnancies didn't have a single one. So....I wouldn't. The ONLY reason I would get an u/s is if there was something that seemed gravely not right and it was needed to determine if something was seriously wrong with me or the baby.

Twins....I'd wait. If you wait and be patient, you can find out in other ways.

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Old 09-21-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I am torn about having one also. I had three with DD1, one of which was at about 5 weeks and used the doppler every visit. With DD2 I didn't have one and only allowed the doppler during labor.

Right now I am thinking I am going to have a 20 week diagnostic u/s. I don't want to find out the sex but it was really special to see the heart chambers with Dylan. I think it might also give me some peace of mind.

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Old 09-22-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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I'm not planning one. I never had any with DD and would only choose one if there were a serious medical reason.

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Old 09-22-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I'm not planning on having any with this pregnancy. I had 3 with DS. One very early on as I was nervous from a m/c the previous year and my mw suggested it to help reassure me. Then I had another a few weeks later as I had absolutely no clue about my LMP or conception date so needed a scan to estimate the due date. I then had another near the end as my MW was concerned I was measuring too big. I didn't really want it but felt pushed into it really

This time I am very certain of my dates so see no need to have a dating scan. This area does an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks that wasn't available where I lived before. But I don't see a need for it. I'd rather enjoy the pregnancy rather than worry about potential problems that may or may not happen and end up with an unnecessary cascade of interventions. I'm also going to decline a lot of the blood tests for the same reason.

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Old 09-22-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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Has there even been a baby harmed by it? I'm really asking because I've never seen it. I don't believe in the theory's when there's no proof.

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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I didn't have any with my first two pregnancies. This time we are looking forward to having the 20 week one. I wouldn't do one earlier though because I can't really see where they are necessary. The 20 week one...well that's what my current midwife suggests and I've done more research and can see where it could be helpful but obviously not a must.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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Well, I don't trust ultrasounds either and my last two pregnancies didn't have a single one. So....I wouldn't. The ONLY reason I would get an u/s is if there was something that seemed gravely not right and it was needed to determine if something was seriously wrong with me or the baby.
This is my stance as well. I didn't have any with DD & was fine with it. I know my LMP, cycle lengths & potential conception dates so I'm not too worried about getting the early ones especially. Although it would admittedly be nice to have that reassurance of seeing a heartbeat I figure that having it wouldn't actually change things if something were to go wrong. This way I just have to be patient & wait until the MW can find the HB with her doppler.

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Old 09-22-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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Check out this fantastic (& thoroughly researched) article by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley to know all about ultrasound.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I'm torn. I'm going with a midwife (need to call one today) and I'm not sure how she works. From what I understand, ultrasounds aren't a common practice under midwife care. Right now I'm feeling no symptoms other than a slight heavy/bloated feeling mostly in the evening (I'm only 5 weeks) so I would love an ultrasound for reassurance. But that's just for me and my peace of mind. The regular 20-week ultrasound, I think I would like again for reassurance that everything is alright but I'd also like to not have one.

I don't know how I feel about it. I'll change my mind every week, I'm sure.

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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I had three for my first pregnancy (one to follow up on spotting, one 20 week scan, and one to follow up on placenta position) and two with my second (I had to go back a few weeks after my 18 week scan because they said I was too fat to get a good picture - not to my face, but I got a copy of the report for my midwife). I was half considering not having any with this baby but I have two friends who recently caught major issues on a routine 20 week scan and now I am thinking maybe I want to have that one. I know tht statistically, they have not been shown to affect outcomes, but anecdotally they have appeared important on those two cases close to me. Plus, I am hoping to have a home birth in a very regulated situation, and I fear that if I don't submit to any testing, there might be pressure to not birth at home because of too many unknowns.

One thing is for sure - I will not be having it at only 17 or 18 weeks because it always seems to result in me having to go back and go through the whole darn holding my pee thing again! I am waiting till at least 20 weeks to let baby get a little bigger.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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I like ultrasounds. I had 3 with DD, and I'll probably end up having 3 with this pregnancy.

I know people who have caught big issues on their ultrasounds. A friend of mine had an ectopic diagnosed with u/s in her 6th week. Several friends had issues diagnosed at the 20wk ultrasound that would require specialized care for the baby immediately after delivery. That is always good to know, you know? My sister did the elective 3D ultrasound, and they discovered that her amniotic fluid was dangerously low. It was at a 3. She got steroid shots and delivered my niece 4 weeks early.

So, I'm a fan of ultrasounds. I think they have their place.

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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i will have a u/s. i had 2 with my first and sec baby, one to date and one for gender and to make sure baby is healthy. this pregnancy i will do the same 2 u/s.

last pregnancy my doctor wanted to do one at 35 weeks and i said no, i didnt see the point the heart beat was fine.

Amanda mom to Mahmoud 7-20-06, Kareem 8-23-08, and Baby #3 due May 19th 2011
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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I also think ultrasounds have their place and I will be utilizing them. I have no issues with it.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Just had one today at 9 weeks, after requesting a Rx from my midwife. After a blighted ovum diagnosed at 8 wk u/s with my first pregnancy, I really need to see a baby and heartbeat for piece of mind. I am infinitely more relaxed now than I was yesterday and I think that affect on my fetus will outweight any risk from a 5 min u/s.

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Has there even been a baby harmed by it? I'm really asking because I've never seen it. I don't believe in the theory's when there's no proof.
Yes. http://www.wddty.com/ultrasound-the-scan-scam.html

google controversies in ultrasound if you're interested in more info.

I can't find the article right now, but I know there is one out there in internet land written by a group of midwives (I think) that talks about how u/s before 12 weeks raise miscarriage rates as well.

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Old 09-22-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I've already had one and will likely have at least one more, probably somewhere around 16-20 weeks. I've never had one as early as I did this time, but I honestly believed I had miscarried and needed to know for sure. I'm so glad I had it, because I still had a baby in there. I like having one around 16-20wks to check all the different things they look for, and we usually find out the sex. I did have 2 pregnancies where I didn't have even one u/s, but I really didn't like the not knowing. For me, it brought a certain amount of anxiety into labor especially planning a homebirth.

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Old 09-22-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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This way I just have to be patient & wait until the MW can find the HB with her doppler.
Doppler IS ultrasound. I started a thread about this in my DDC and was really surprised at the number of people who said they didn't want an ultrasound, but were using the doppler at every appointment.

I agree that ultrasounds can be helpful at times- either to check for potential problems or to reassure the mother after a loss or other problem... but in the majority of pregnancies, they are just one more intervention that really isn't necessary!

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I've gone through my last two pregnancies without ultrasounds, other than a (literally) 1 minute swipe to check for twins. And that ended rather badly: the tech wouldn't stop the "exam" after finding out there was just one baby, and ignored my requests, so I had to just get up walk out while she was still working on me! She was pretty pissed.

I'm not a fan of them, and even less a fan of doppler and EFM... which expose baby to MUCH more.
The first time I was pregnant we used doppler a few times to listen at my midwife's office, and it was very clear that my daughter not only heard the thing, but was afraid of it. She shook and scrambled and did her best to get away from it as fast as possible! It even raised her heartrate pretty significantly; it was clear she was distressed. As soon as we took it away, she was fine... After the third time it happened in appointments we changed our minds about using doppler, and were all over the fetoscope after that! Our midwife was really wonderful and agreed that it was definitely best to avoid ultrasound. From that point on we've been pretty against the casual usage of it, particularly in situations where it is not truly needed.

The big level II ultrasounds aren't my thing either. We're pro-choice but would not personally choose abortion, and despite what the media leads you to believe they're not giving out in-uteruo surgeries that often -- so I really have no real reason to undergo that exam, or any of the other genetic screenings. We don't get the GBS swab either, because it's not the risk you're led to believe, and the chances of being falsely treated with abx are pretty high.

I'm not saying ultrasound/doppler doesn't have its place... I just think they're badly overused and should not be advertised as fun and games (3d baby, anyone?) without full informed consent. I think if more women knew the potential risks, they wouldn't be lining up by the hundreds for hour long 3D sessions for a few pictures they'll only look at a few times.

THIS ALL SAID... I'm totally freaking this time around due to lack of pregnancy symptoms. I'm usually the person saying to be patient, it doesn't make a difference (which is true), and I've never had this hard a time before! It's weird. : I've talked myself down from going to a clinic and requesting an ultrasound, but I think I may ask my midwife for a quick heartbeat check with the doppler at my first appointment.

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Old 09-22-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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DDCC -



Doppler IS ultrasound. I started a thread about this in my DDC and was really surprised at the number of people who said they didn't want an ultrasound, but were using the doppler at every appointment.
Sorry - I should have clarified. I'm ok with the doppler as we had used it last time around only a few times & for a very limited amount of time (less than 1min). I think I had been turned off regular ultrasounds after several friends had had theirs go on for like 30+ mins. After hearing how my DD tried to dodge the doppler I wondered how she'd do with a full on ultrasound. They both definitely have their place though & have the potential to be overused.

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Old 09-22-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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As a note: doppler is also MUCH MORE powerful per minute than a plain ultrasound. I can't remember the exact number, but I want to say it's 30x as powerful? Don't quote me on that.

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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As a note: doppler is also MUCH MORE powerful per minute than a plain ultrasound. I can't remember the exact number, but I want to say it's 30x as powerful? Don't quote me on that.
Really? Wow that's interesting, I hadn't heard that before. Hmmm something else to look into now I suppose.

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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We will do one at 20 week.. and if there is any true necessity before after.

I think U/S can be an amazing tool if used judiciously.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Well, I'm definitely on the other extreme of the U/S question, seeing as how I'm already scheduled for 10 of them. Mine is a high-risk pg with multiple complications, though, so I'm okay with it, especially since I've already had one baby with IUGR and another with a cord defect, both problems that were discovered on u/s.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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I will be getting a viability u/s around 8 - 9 weeks. I had a missed abortion two pregnancies ago, and have no desire to walk around with a dead, deteriorating fetus inside of me again.

Most likely, I will also get the 20 weeker. Significant problems can be identified there (particularly if you are seeing an OB, who may not be skilled at diagnosing a previa etc without one.)

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Significant problems can be identified there (particularly if you are seeing an OB, who may not be skilled at diagnosing a previa etc without one.)
Just a note: the vast majority of previa cases resolve themselves, and early diagnostic and continuous monitoring has not been shown to improve outcomes... actually quite the opposite! Early diagnosis increases the chances of cesarean section or induction (unnecessary, that is), stress for mother and other issues... none of which are related to the previa itself, but rather fear of it "getting worse" despite the fact that it's incredibly unlikely. It's kind of like a cervical lip: the only problem is being aware of it, and therefore thinking it's a problem.
I was just reading the data on pubmed last night, actually. Very interesting stuff!

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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Actually, I did not at all intend to imply that it's just for my personal comfort. What I am personally comfortable with is following the advice of my doctor that it is in the best medical interest of my baby to ensure that he or she is not starving.
You sound really defensive. Please know that I'm not attacking you, I'm genuinely just curious! In another thread you said you were having difficulty reconciling a want for low intervention with a high risk pregnancy that requires constant monitoring and interventions... so I was just asking about the data showing how 10 ultrasounds (or more) were proven to improve outcomes. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but just satisfy both my own curiosity, and maybe help you feel better about your choices!
This is a thread about the personal choices regarding ultrasound use, and has lots of interesting POVs... so I'm just learning from a situation I'm unfamiliar with, that's all!

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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I am so glad this thread was started here!

I have struggled with this US or no US thing for the whole pregnancy so far!

(Just a note that this post includes some very traumatizing/dramatic feelings from a past US..just so you are warned!)



My second pregnancy (first miscarriage) had a few episodes of spotting. I was shocked that "something could be wrong" and did a blood test and it showed my HCG wasn't going up very much and my progesterone was low. I did a US..and they showed a heartbeat..and said the baby looked great (even though I KNEW it was measuring less than it should of...but chalked it up to tech error).

Two weeks later, I started spotting again. Had another US...and the tech couldn't tell me ANYTHING. I could see the screen myself...I'm not stupid. There was no heartbeat. There was a lot of blood above my cervix. And the tech gave me blank looks and wouldn't look at me in the eye as I am hysterically sobbing for her to tell me what is going on.

She told me to get dressed, and the doctor would come and see me. No picture. No smile like the first time. Nothing. There I laid, with my 3 year old daughter in the room and my poor husband not knowing what just happened, first to his wife, and second to his unborn child, as I am hysterically crying more than I have ever done so in my life. I cry even as I write this it was that terrible.

Traumatizing to say the least.

Having had a US where they said everything was fine.......when it wasn't (the baby died like RIGHT after the first US) was enough for me to not ever want to go through that again. How could I possibly ever believe the US again? How would it ever give me peace?

So we've chosen no US. I've had days of wanting to go get one IMMEDIATELY....and panicking, and crying, and being scared, and begging my DH to take me to get the US. But I've taken a warm bath, meditated, prayed....and felt better the next day.

I will listen to the baby's heartbeat with a doppler once or twice though. There is no way I could go until 20 weeks or so when I could hear the HB with a fetoscope that I would make it that long. Once I hear it....I'll feel as if I am in the clear since I have not had any signs or symptoms that this pregnancy is failing in anyway. I won't be using the doppler often though..and will get a fetoscope and use that for the rest of the pregnancy.

For me, having problems in pregnancy so early on, I will feel immensely better after hearing the heartbeat. Then it's only a few more weeks until movement!

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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yep...anxiety disorder over here!

we want to know the sex...i want to see her/him move...

mama to 9 year old h  and 3 year old z

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