To ultrasound or not to ultrasound

Hi there,

20 Weeks Whitney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somewhere between week 18 and 20 pregnant women usually go for an anatomy ultrasound to check how baby is doing and maybe find out the sex of the baby.

I had mine a week ago and we found out it’s a…..drum roll please…..sorry, you’re going to have to wait a little longer before I tell you. Yes, that was mean.

My ultrasound was with a new tech who was being coached by a more experienced tech. It was a nice experience because they were chatting about this and that about my baby. So I got to see and understand a bit more about what I was seeing when I was craning my neck to watch what they were doing for an hour.

Is ultrasound safe? 

It is generally believed to be safe for mom and baby, is painless, gives results quickly, and is convenient, however because “a form of energy and, as such, demonstrates effects in biological tissues it traverses (bioeffects).(1)”

50% of physicians and obstetricians polled believed ultrasounds in low-risk pregnancies should be kept to 1-3 and 70% disapprove of “keepsake/entertainment” ultrasounds (2). However, is this based on fact or generally held beliefs?

The risks of ultrasound are thermal and mechanical.

I tried to find more research about the exact mechanisms and some definitive answers for you but this was very challenging. I think this topic is a whole thesis that I could spend a lot of time on.

My general philosophy is to strive for the least amount of intervention necessary. If you need another ultrasound for medical reasons I think that’s very important. Discuss the risks and benefits with your health care provider to help you make up your own mind.

I thought I would just put this out there as food for thought.

Stay tuned for more highs and lows of pregnancy….I think my heartburn has just started and there is still so much time to go! I’m in trouble!

Talk soon,

Whitney

 

Sources:

1. Semin Perinatol. 2013 Oct;37(5):295-300.

2. J Ultrasound Med. 2007 Mar;26(3):319-25.