I had my 30th week pregnancy ultrasound yesterday and since the doctor was trying out new equipment it took him around an hour to complete it! I then started wondering:
- Does my baby like the ultrasound?
- Do expecting mothers like ultrasounds?
- How many ultrasounds can you have safely?
- How many ultrasounds SHOULD you have while pregnant?
DO EXPECTING MOTHERS LIKE ULTRASOUNDS?
Expecting mothers LOVE ultrasounds and are eager to pay a premium for them, at least that’s what I observed by talking to fellow pregnant ladies. A sonogram is also a marvelous bonding experience for mom and baby. It is not unlikely to hear pregnant women laugh or cry tears of joy when they see their little treasures on the screen. I would know as I did both. Ultrasounds are also a great way to reassure you that everything is proceeding correctly with your pregnancy.
Problems arise when your ultrasound technician give you wrong information or is not sure whether everything is fine with your baby. That could result in you being extremely worried and could ruin your whole pregnancy, one mama describes how the ultrasound technicians told her that her baby’s foot was twisted only to later find out that she gave birth to a perfectly healthy girl.
HOW MANY ULTRASOUNDS CAN YOU HAVE SAFELY?
I realize that there are various approaches to ultrasound. The American Pregnancy Association advocates 3 during your whole pregnancy:
- In the first trimester to confirm the pregnancy and heartbeat, to measure the gestation age, to assess abnormal gestation or ectopic pregnancies.
- In the second trimester to diagnose fetal malformation like the Down syndrome, confirm multiples in pregnancy, verify dates and growth, identify levels of amniotic fluid and evaluate fetal well-being.
- In the third trimester to identify placental location, observe fetal presentation and movements.
Some claim that having an ultrasound is not essential to a healthy pregnancy and that it could actually be dangerous. They believe that ultrasounds are being performed because this is what doctors are skilled at, as opposed to the hands-on approach.
I’ve had 6 ultrasounds so far and I loved each and every one of them. I love the pictures, I love the videos, I love the fact that I can stick my baby’s face to the wall and send it out to my family. But I am aware of the fact that the long term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures are not fully known.
HOW MANY ULTRASOUNDS SHOULD YOU HAVE WHEN PREGNANT?
Nobody can force you to do an ultrasound if you are not in agreement. You might like the approach of an ultrasound free pregnancy, in fact the sonogram technology is a fairly recent invention and our mothers did not see their babies develop in their bellies. There however remain some questions to be answered. Would you rather know that you have a baby with a Down syndrome early on (then you need to do at least one ultrasound unless you want go for the invasive amniocentesis) or would you prefer to find out at birth? And if you did know in advance, what would you do with that information?
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