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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
***Disclaimer: I hope those mamas that are opting to utilize ultrasound won't take offense to this. This is not meant as a slam against you in anyway.***

Are there any other mamas in our group that are avoiding ultrasound and doppler testing? I'm feeling like the only bizaro around not taking a peek or hearing my little one's heartbeat. During labor, some monitoring with the doppler is required by protocol at the birthing center where I'll be giving birth. Other than that, and baring unusual complications, I'll be able to hear the heartbeat after 20 weeks or so with the fetoscope and my first peek will be at birth.

Any other MDC mamas like me?
 

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Me! We haven't seen or heard our little one yet. I am personally uncomfortable with using doppler and/or ultrasound without a medical reason. So far, everything has been great, so we haven't needed either. My growing uterus and subtle baby movements have been the only tangible markers of the baby thus far. My MW doesn't use doppler prenatally, only in labor. I'm very excited that we'll probably be able to detect the heartbeat via fetoscope at our next appt! I actually have to go see my Ob-gyn to request some blood tests (our insurance will pay for them that way) and I'm sure she and the nurse will be surprised when I refuse their gown (no reason to put it on if I'm not having any internal exams) and refuse doppler as well. I
my midwife and I'm so happy to be having a non-interventive pregnancy!
 

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I'm there with you. I'm not planning to get an ultrasound. I have used the doppler twice to listen to baby, but my next mw appointment we will start using the fetoscope and it will be that only from then on since I will be almost 20 weeks at that point.

I will probably also allow the doppler in labor, if my mw gets here before the baby is born.
 

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Well, I have had one u/s for selfish reasons... lol... (couldn't wait to know the gender) it will be the only one I have, and there has been no doppler use during this pregnancy, nor will there be any. Or, even a fetascope for that matter.
I'm having a UP/UC, so none of these things are even options.
 

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I had to get a doppler for peace of mind after a very close call in my first trimester, just to reassure myself that we hadn't lost him. I haven't had an u/s yet, but I think I will have to get one, I worry so much about everything going well...
 

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I'm doing my own prenatal care and I don't feel the need to use any devices. I haven't had any problems whatsoever with this pregnancy, but even if I did I'd probably just not worry about it and let things run its natural course.
 

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WARNING: This is an anti-ultrasound rant. Please no flames, I want to share my opinions with other mamas who feel the same way about unnecessary ultrasounds. I have never had one single ultrasound with my last pregnancy (ds#2) and won't this time either. (I had one for dating with ds #1) I don't have dating issues because I know when I conceive by charting, and have no desire to find out the sex. I also don't want to offend the mamas in this DDC that feel like they "have to take a peek" but I am not one of them. I am not a worrier by nature so I don't get the mentality of "needing to see if it's all right." But again I respect that other people want that comfort level. OK for them. Not OK for me. I think that is borrowing trouble. What is it about knowing where the placenta is implanted that makes the pregnancy safer? As a homebirth assistant I have seen many out of hospital births with "interesting" placentas, umbilical cord insertions, very minor anomalies, etc. Would they have been necessary to know about prenatally? Absolutely not! It saddens me that our medical culture has taught women to devalue their own bodies to the point that we think that invasive ultrasound is NECESSARY.
to give birth and have a safe pregnancy. I just ran into an acquaintance at a garage sale this week. She is in school to be an ultrasonographer. She was HORRIFIED that I was not having an ultrasound to make sure that everything was all right. And I don't mean like all the other people that just can't believe that you are strong enough to not want to find out the sex....she was HORRIFIED like my baby probably would have hooves and horns and I wouldn't know it. I also have a good friend that owns one of the only 4D "optional ultrasound" places in the state. She just thinks I don't want to know the sex of the baby. When I tried to explain to her my objection to the use of ultrasound in general she countered with "the level of ultrasound that we use is so low, there is no risk. My machine wouldn't even dial up that high if I tried."
OK
:

So yes to the PP there are many of us here at MDC.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TattooedMama
What is it about knowing where the placenta is implanted that makes the pregnancy safer?
well, placenta previa is pretty dangerous...

for me, i had a missed miscarriage last fall - the heart stopped beating at 7 weeks, and we didn't find out until a routine ultrasound at 11 weeks. i had no symptoms of anything being wrong - i was gaining weight, my boobs were big and sore, i was nauseated half the time, everything. it still kills me to remember that i carried a dead baby inside of me for a month. so, i got regular ultrasounds in my first trimester (before they can pick up the heartbeat on a doppler), to make sure it was sticking this time around. so far, so good.
 

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I don't love this thread, because it gives me a little rush of guilt, like "boy, am I making the right choices? Am I a bad mother if I don't have the full support of my DDC...?"


But mainly, it's interesting. Last pregnancy we were definitely in the no-doppler, no u/s world. Since then, after 2 m/c, we've learned that for several reasons we are in a higher risk group for a number of problems. So this time, we're getting 2, TWO ultrasounds (one a few weeks ago to make sure I had a viable baby with a chance to survive full term, unlike my last 2 pregnancies; one scheduled late-term to make sure the placenta isn't growing over my c/s scar). We weighed the risks, and decided that both were reasonable choices for US.

But I mostly just want to emphasize, with thoughtfulness, compassion and respect, that everyone should feel safe and like good parents for choosing (with equal thoughtfulness, compassion and respect) to do what feels right for them and their family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In posting this thread, I honestly did not want to make any one feel guilty for their choices. I see our DDC as a place for support and community; in a community, not everyone makes the same choices. Still, I think it's normal to feel the desire of not being alone in personal choices.

In my mind, the safety of ultrasound technology has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Researchers still say to limit ultrasound to only when medically necessary for diagnosis. Nothing in my pregnancy thus far has warranted this measure. I fully understand that each pregnancy is unique just as each person has her own level of comfort. My personal choice is to avoid this technology unless there's a significant reason to use it.Here's a link to a recent study synopsis that reiterates the encouragement of restricted use. Here's also a link to a MDC thread that talks about the same study.

This site is extreme in its views, but I think it's useful.

As for dopplers - while the purpose is to amplify the baby's heartbeat, the technology of using sound waves in the body makes it equivalent to ultrasound.

Taken from the FDA's response to a petition to have Doppler fetoscopes changed to an over-the-counter status, rather than a controlled medical device:

Quote:
OTC purchase and use of Doppler fetoscopes by a lay user raises new issues of safety and effectiveness. . . . These products introduce acoustic energy into the body. The potential for adverse effects from long-term exposure to the fetus in early pregnancy are unknown. <snip> The agency has concluded that unsupervised exposure to ultrasound may pose a risk to the health of the mother or a developing fetus.
Summary here and scanned full text here.

In short, I don't mean to knock anyone's choices; I truly believe to each her own. We're all growing wonderful little babies in us and part of the joy and privilege of living in first world countries in the twenty first century is having a variety of technology available to utilize as the need arises.

Love and peace to all.


ETA:

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsatz
But I mostly just want to emphasize, with thoughtfulness, compassion and respect, that everyone should feel safe and like good parents for choosing (with equal thoughtfulness, compassion and respect) to do what feels right for them and their family.
Right on!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rsatz
But I mostly just want to emphasize, with thoughtfulness, compassion and respect, that everyone should feel safe and like good parents for choosing (with equal thoughtfulness, compassion and respect) to do what feels right for them and their family.
I agree. Which as why as using routine ultrasound becomes the norm I find it hard to get unbiased support for making an informed decision NOT to use it. People are really not comfortable with that as an option, much like some people feel homebirth is not safe and you are automatically a negligible parent for choosing that as an option. No one should be made to feel that way for their educated choice if it is made using informed consent.
Peace,
 

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Jessica,
I agree with so much of what you said. I admit to the weakness of just simply having to know what the sex of my child is (
) but I really checked into the place we went to before making the appointment, because I didn't want to be told at all if my placenta was "unusual" or there could be any possible anomalies. All I wanted to know was the sex.

I tried to explain that to my mom, and even though she is in support of my UP/UC, she didn't get that part. I just don't see the need for unnecessary worry. I trust that I will *know* if something is wrong and I need to see someone, otherwise, I'm prepared to handle just about anything alone.

On a side note, it was amazing how for 17 weeks I have not had one single worry or concern about my pregnancy or my baby. I just knew everything was fine. But, on the way to the u/s I turned into a nervous wreck! It just didn't make sense! I wondered if that's what all women receiving Americanized prenatal care felt like before every appointment. I'm really excited to know that I'm going to have a son, but I'm not sure if I would choose to have one again, simply because the worry that morning was so difficult to deal with.

Of course, now that there are no doctors or hospitals looming in my immediate future, I am wonderfully calm and happy again.

This is a really great topic- I am really glad it hasn't gotten out of hand- I am loving reading everyones' responses.
 
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