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We are researching a homebirth for the baby we are trying for and I was wondering the pros and cons of NOT having an ultrasound done. I am planning to not have one, but I am getting a lot of questions about "why not". I just don't feel it necessary in a healthy pregnancy, but some have questioned how you would know about and prepare for certain birth defects without one.<br><br>
How have ya'll approached this subject ?<br>
thanks mammas<br>
gabby
 

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A bunch of radiologists asked that question several years ago and wanted to know the answer. They set up a large study (the RADIUS study) and found that in an otherwise healthy pregnancy the midpregnancy ultrasound made no difference in the outcome.<br>
If there was a reason to suspect a medical problem with mom, baby or placenta, an ultrasound can be very helpful
 

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There's a ton of information around here if you do the search thing...Also, at mothering.com, there are lots of back articles on risks of ultrasounds. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/articles/pregnancy_birth/birth_preparation/ultrasound-risks.html" target="_blank">Here's</a> just one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Gathering information you feel comfortable with to make decisions is a great way to empower yourself! Best wishes on your journey <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Sometimes NOT knowing about "birth defects" is better. Not every woman feels the same way, and some would prefer having the information to help prepare, but for many, it's better to completely fall in love with the pregnancy and with the baby before they find out what's "wrong" with their child.<br><br>
As mothercat said, routine ultrasound does NOT improve outcomes, and contrary to popular belief, even the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists does not recommend routine use of sonography. Add to that the unnecessary anxiety many people are put through due to false positives (there is a MUCH higher rate of false positives than true diagnoses of problems), the fact that ultrasound actually MISSES many congenital issues, and what we know about the effects of ultrasonic exposure at very high doses on developing cells and neurology, and it would take quite a bit more than "well, everyone does it" to make me be willing to submit to routine ultrasound.
 

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There is alot of info you will be considering.<br>
I would strongly urge you to choose carefully those you share your plans to homebirth with. Not everyone will be as excited as you or even for you.<br>
We see on here all the time the turmoil ones birthing choices cause in their surrounding circle of family and friends.<br>
Good luck- you do not need to say anything to the naysayers- but this is what we decide to be best for us.<br>
No one needs to know if you got an ultrasound or not.<br>
Emilie
 

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Here's a random pro of us having one at 20 weeks:<br><br>
I'm currently 41 weeks (edd 4/15). State law says midwives can assist HBs until 42 weeks.<br><br>
BUT...my u/s shows a "due date" of April 25th, ten days after the EDD calculated according to my LMP. So...because of the ultra sound I am now able to deliver at home until two weeks after April 25th. Although I doubt I will go much longer than a week from now. But you never know. At least I can relax about when baby will come.<br><br>
BTW, my dh wanted to get one, so I acquiesced.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Arwyn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7924100"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sometimes NOT knowing about "birth defects" is better. Not every woman feels the same way, and some would prefer having the information to help prepare, but for many, it's better to completely fall in love with the pregnancy and with the baby before they find out what's "wrong" with their child.<br><br>
As mothercat said, routine ultrasound does NOT improve outcomes, and contrary to popular belief, even the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists does not recommend routine use of sonography. Add to that the unnecessary anxiety many people are put through due to false positives (there is a MUCH higher rate of false positives than true diagnoses of problems), the fact that ultrasound actually MISSES many congenital issues, and what we know about the effects of ultrasonic exposure at very high doses on developing cells and neurology, and it would take quite a bit more than "well, everyone does it" to make me be willing to submit to routine ultrasound.</div>
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Incredibly well put. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> This is what I shared w/ people who asked.
 

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I betcha if you stood in an OB waiting room and randomly polled people as to why they were having a U/S the majority would say to find out gender. I remember schedualing one for Marah Jade and the phone tech asked the reason for the U/S and I said "to find out gender". She proceeds to inform me that isn't a medical indication. I had no clue why I needed the U/S <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I think the birth defect question sounds neat to most people to say but in reality I wonder how many people care about that as much as gender. Not saying people don't care about birth defects but the majority of the population assumes everything is fine.<br><br>
Not everything is discovered in an ultrasound that I would need to be prepared for should something go wrong.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Here's a random pro of us having one at 20 weeks:<br><br>
I'm currently 41 weeks (edd 4/15). State law says midwives can assist HBs until 42 weeks.<br><br>
BUT...my u/s shows a "due date" of April 25th, ten days after the EDD calculated according to my LMP. So...because of the ultra sound I am now able to deliver at home until two weeks after April 25th. Although I doubt I will go much longer than a week from now. But you never know. At least I can relax about when baby will come.</td>
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My 20 week ultrasound gave me three more days which did make a difference for me but, you have to be careful with this because it can go the other way too. They can move your due date up if the US shows you farther along than you thought.
 

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We agreed to 'one' u/s at the request of our midwife. Her reasoning was that it would rule out heart abnormalities of the type that could be corrected, but would need immediate medical attention not available at home. We did it at 21 wks to be sure the organs would be visible and to avoid additional u/s.<br><br>
Well...we discovered twins. The discovery risked us out of our homebirth, sent us on a 2 month quest of interviewing prospective OBs and led to more u/s.<br><br>
Our first midwife says she would've insisted on an u/s when I began to measure too large for dates, that eventually the twins would be discovered and I would've had less time to find a good OB.<br><br>
However, here's how our story goes. We finally found an OB I liked (or at least could tolerate) but I was still stressing over how to deal with the interventions the hospital would REQUIRE for a twin birth.<br><br>
Then a miracle occurred. The OB confessed that she wishes she had listened to the midwives she knows and NOT birthed her 8 mos old daughter at the hospital. She said she didn't believe I stood a chance at having the type of birth I wanted at the hospital. She referred us to a local birth center. ALL of the birth centers had previously turned us down, but the OB's referral changed this chief midwife's mind.<br><br>
Our new midwife explained that she deals with clients all the time who refuse u/s (and other testing) for various reasons. She would've respected our wishes to decline u/s and because she has experience with over 200 twin births, she doesn't think discovering twins later is always a problem. She also seems to be confident in practices such as perhaps <i>suspecting</i>, but not <i>diagnosing</i> twins to accommodate out of hospital births within the current state laws.<br><br>
That said, the less common twin complications than occur with shared amniotic sacs, shared placentas, etc. would be harder to recognize without the u/s.<br><br>
For me it comes down to how we each deal with the responsibility for making safe birthing choices and how we are influenced and hopefully supported by those we choose as care providers.<br><br>
If I become pregnant again I think I will skip the u/s. However as I say that I recognize that the information gained from that u/s (fraternal twins with excellent placental placement and optimally balanced growth, excellent cervical integrity, no recognizable fetal abnormalities, etc.) is also exactly what convinced the OB that we're good candidates for an out of hospital birth.<br><br>
Whatever choice we make there are associated risks. Trust your heart and work hard to find people to support you in whom you can trust.
 

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We had u/s with the first two, but after researching it more thoroughly, opted out this time. People usually don't ask if I've had one. They usually ask if I know gender and I say we decided for a surprise. So they assume that we had one, but didn't find out gender. I'm really not advertising. But if someone asked and I felt they were sincere, I would tell.
 

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I knew intuitively that my son had a serious birth defect. Everyone poo-poo'ed me, especially the ob. I was presented with the odds and told not to worry. I had three u/s, and all three gave false negatives. I was told to expect a healthy baby (but huge, of course.) Since I said that I would not terminate if there were birth defects, then the ob seemed to treat my u/s as entertainment and "to find out the sex." (I also knew intuitively that I was having a boy from conception.) Only after the birth of my son (7lb, 15oz) was I told how high the rates of false negatives are with u/s: 10% of spina bifida cases are NOT caught on the u/s and 0% of my son's condition are caught with the prenatal u/s. The developmental pediatrician offered a lot of prenatal preparation - if only I had been taken seriously by my ob. (Next time, I won't tolerate being dismissed like that, and I'll probably have an UP, anyway.)
 

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I had a very brief ultrasound with Shiny, mostly to make sure she was alive, during a prolonged period of spotting. They wanted to do all sorts of measurements to see if she was healthy--I refused and said, "see if the baby's heart is beating, see if you can figure out where the bleeding is coming from."<br><br>
It took 5 minutes.<br><br>
They did NOT find the problems they would have seen had I allowed them to do a more in-depth scan. Those problems in a normal practice would have led to amnio, which would have led to a diagnosis of her deletion before birth, which might have led us to birth in the hospital.<br><br>
My baby was born at home. She was NEVER in NICU (other babies with her issue were in for 3-4 weeks), and was never given formula, and although those first months were hard, she did well. She never developed a seizure disorder (other girls with her genetic issues have, and have been put on heavy, development-affecting drugs to stop them).<br><br>
Had I gone to the hospital to birth, I could not have had a waterbirth. And I know that her birth was brutally hard at home... but I was able to get in the tub and allow my pelvis to open to let her out. At the hospital, they would have cut her out--and our already tenuous breastfeeding relationship would have crumbled under the weight of NICU, forced bottling and post-c-section trauma. I could barely pump enough for her as it was, just think if I'd been recovering from surgery AND she'd not spent every single moment of her first weeks of life on my body?<br><br>
So.<br><br>
Yes, hospitals and NICUS and c-sections can be necessary, but y'know, my kiddo is learning to talk, and making progress that not one other child with her deletion has made at age 2. And I doubt it would have been possible if her birth had followed standard procedures for someone with my risk factors, her risk factors. We were safer at home. Period. And safer, not knowing in advance anything more than that she was alive and growing.
 
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