Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are Ultrasounds Safe?

With our first baby I didn't know much about ultrasounds, never questioned them. But as with everything that is 'routine' about the medical system, I became curious about its necessity. My findings startled me more than I expected. This time it was an easy decision for us to avoid all ultrasounds unless medically absolutely necessary. Thankfully I also like surprises, so I don't mind not finding out the sex of the baby until birth!

Here is why you may want to think twice before submitting your fetus to an ultrasound, or at least why you should try to avoid any unnecessary ones.
Remember that at one point, pregnant women were routinely x-rayed and it was encouraged by doctors. Until that is, they figured out why babies were born with abnormalities and that such a dose of radiation can even be fatal for a fetus. I am not waiting until someone 'officially' says that ultrasounds are dangerous for a developing fetus. How about you?

8 comments:

  1. Interesting, interesting, you had ultrasound with your first one and she turned out to be fine, why would you second guess your second one?

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  2. Let me explain, to me this works the same way as if I really had no idea smoking or drinking alcohol was bad for the fetus with a first pregnancy - then I still had a baby who was fine. If I found out I am pregnant again and learned just how badly drinking and smoking can hurt a baby, I wouldn't do it with the second one! Would you? Same with anything when you learn something is harmful.
    PS: I wouldn't be surprised if ultrasounds had something to do with her sensitivities to everything from milk to chemicals (though there are many factors).

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  3. That is very troubling, I havd no idea, and didn't even think of researching. Now too late for me, after four babies!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this research! For some reason, I started asking questions with my first and chose then not to have an ultrasound. Most of my friends chose to have ultrasounds with their babies, and one friend has vehemently told me that I'm risking my baby's life by not having the ultrasound. I did a lot of research about ultrasounds and basically decided that (a) it didn't give me anymore information than I already had from regular prenanatal appointments (since I didn't want to find out the sex) and (b) there were a few studies that suggested risks that I just wasn't interested in taking. As you say, doctors once said x-rays were safe during pregnancy. I think way more studies need to be done with ultrasounds to prove that they are safe -- but I don't see those studies being done (other than in Midwifery Today).

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  5. You also have to ask yourself - if we are not sure whether it is safe or not - then why risk it, when there is usually nothing that can be done for the baby at that point until they are born. Also,if they find something wrong, are you going to abort? If not, then why bother with the ultrasound, when it could just cause additional problems? My now eighteen month old has a language delay, and did not babble until she was thirteen months old. She was given an extensive ultrasound with a high powered machine. If I could go back in time, I would NOT get that ultrasound done.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! You make some great points, thanks for sharing with us and our readers :)

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  6. I felt very strongly that I should not have ultra sounds with both of my healthy pregnancies. The midwifes wanted be to have one with my second and I measured a month ahead. But I felt a strong No, I was sure I was just caring one baby. By month 71/2 I was measuring to the date I had given them. An hour long ultrasound at 20 weeks in the norm. Me and my children will NOT be part of the human experiment.

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    1. That's great! I think all moms should get educated AND follow their instincts. By all means we should be free to do what we feel is right, but for some moms that may mean choosing an ultrasound in certain circumstances. I just wish OBs gave all the info, they don't, moms are not at all informed about any risks.

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