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Hello! (And... question about u/s, or lack thereof)


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  • 1 Post By BobbityBoo

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  #1  
February 7th, 2012, 03:27 PM
Dee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,828
Hi. I'm Dee, and I'm due on 9/30 with my first, so not very far along at all!

I have a question for you NCBers. I was reading some of the information in the articles section about ultrasounds - there was some logically convincing but scientifically inconclusive information that seemed to warn against overdoing it with ultrasounds. Did any of you refuse them at doctor's appointments or request as few as possible to monitor your pregnancy?

My first appointment with a midwife (who I have not met yet) isn't until week 11, and they do not perform ultrasounds there, I have to make that appointment elsewhere. At first I was disappointed (hearing the heartbeat seems like a good way to bond), but after these articles, I wonder if I shouldn't schedule an u/s until someone tells me it's medically necessary.

Anyway, it is SO helpful to read your stories, to hear your encouragement and advice and recommendations. I can tell this is a really supportive place during an intense and exciting time. I am glad to be joining you!
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  #2  
February 7th, 2012, 05:01 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
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First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!!

I think it depends on the circumstances, personally. In a typical, healthy pregnancy, there are usually 2 ultrasounds maximum: one around 20 weeks to check on the development of the baby, and the one at 10-12 weeks to date the pregnancy and make sure it's implanted well. This has been done for many years, and there's no reason to think those 2 ultrasounds have any negative impact on a pregnancy.

Many people will point to studies showing that babies with more ultrasounds have more problems, but I tend to think that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, since typically they only have those ultrasounds if there is already a risk factor - previous losses, maternal age, complications, etc. So of course the babies with more ultrasounds have a higher rate of problems... They had those ultrasounds because they were more likely to have issues in the first place!

Anyway, I am actually getting a few extra ultrasounds this time. My doctor and I are both very much on board with my desire to VBAC and go natural, so I'm not concerned the extra monitoring will impact my birthing decisions. My extra ultrasounds are because my last baby got sick in utero, and the monitoring we did with him ended up saving his life. This time around, we have no reason to expect problems, but it is going a LONG way to relieving a lot of stress on me. So I guess I come from the opposite camp, LOL! We are only talking an extra 3 ultrasounds, not super lots, and all of them late in gestations - neither of us is at all concerned that it will cause any problems.
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  #3  
February 8th, 2012, 07:10 AM
Platinum Supermommy
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CONGRATS!!!! And welcome!!!

I think you will find a lot of conflicting advice on this subject. So in the end, it's something you will just have to decide what you're comfortable with. For my first pregnancy, I had the 2 u/s the PP talked about (one at 8 weeks to confirm and anatomy at 18 weeks). I know a lot of people also have another one later on around 38 weeks, but I didn't and had planned to refuse if it was offered. This time around, same situation except that I did do an optional 3d ultrasound (twice since the baby wasn't cooperating the first time). Honestly, I won't do it again, it wasn't worth it to me. And I do plan to refuse an ultrasound at the end again as well.

My reasons for refusing an ultrasound at the end is simply because I don't think anything they tell you is worth it. I don't want to hear about how huge my baby is, or how low my fluid is, or how old my placenta is. If I go past 40 weeks, I may think differently, but I would just have to see how things are going.
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  #4  
February 8th, 2012, 07:17 AM
Dee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,828
Thank you both for the warm welcome and your very helpful advice!


This is something I was thinking, too, that was not acknowledged in some of what I was reading, the whole correlation v. causation problem with such studies:
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietsong View Post
First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!!
Many people will point to studies showing that babies with more ultrasounds have more problems, but I tend to think that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, since typically they only have those ultrasounds if there is already a risk factor - previous losses, maternal age, complications, etc. So of course the babies with more ultrasounds have a higher rate of problems... They had those ultrasounds because they were more likely to have issues in the first place!

I'm looking forward to learning more here. Thanks again!
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  #5  
February 8th, 2012, 09:56 AM
BobbityBoo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with the others. There is conflicting evidence, but also we haven't used u/s long enough to have real long term effects yet. Generally in my pregnancies I have had two or three u/s. Typically there is one for dating and then the anatomy scan at 20 weeks. I think for me the only must have is the 20 week scan. Unless something else comes up medically, I don't consider anything else necessary. I wouldn't get a "weight check scan" at 38 weeks or anything. But not necessarily because of the waves hurting the baby, more because of what the doc is going to do with that information.
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  #6  
February 8th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Dee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbityBoo View Post
I wouldn't get a "weight check scan" at 38 weeks or anything. But not necessarily because of the waves hurting the baby, more because of what the doc is going to do with that information.
This is a good point to keep in mind. Thanks.
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  #7  
February 8th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Welcome!

I've had multiple u/s with all 3 pregnancies, but I never did any for fun (like the 3d/4d ones at the mall, etc)

With my provider, it's the norm to do an early dating u/s and then the anatomy scan around 20 weeks. With all 3 pregnancies, I had more than one dating u/s because there were issues with the first (with Lily, they didn't see anything and were afraid of an ectopic, so had another one with higher machine next day. With Vi and this baby, wasn't for sure on conception since I'd been nursing and having long cycles, so they did two u/s within about a week or so of each other to try to get best dates).

I also had one with Lily after the anatomy scan because they couldn't get a clear pic of her heart, so I had to get a Level II scan.

I'm okay with the scans I've had, but I wouldn't be paying money for extra ones just to see baby, etc. But that's just me.
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  #8  
February 8th, 2012, 01:58 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbityBoo View Post
I wouldn't get a "weight check scan" at 38 weeks or anything. But not necessarily because of the waves hurting the baby, more because of what the doc is going to do with that information.
I totally agree with this! Weight checks at that point are something like plus or minus 2 pounds...so what's the point? I've heard SO many stories of women getting late scans, being told their babies are 10+ pounds and "need" a c-section, only to be born somewhere in the 8lb range. I'll be getting a 36 week ultrasound to ensure everything is looking good with baby (since my previous one was born at 36 weeks), but I've already discussed with my doctor that whatever they measure baby at for weight, we will NOT change my birth plan.
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  #9  
February 9th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Ok so I had a lot of ultrasounds. I was unsure of my conception so I had one at 5w6d there was no heartbeat so I went back at 8 weeks to rule out blighted ovum. Then I had 3 elective, and we never found out sex (12w, 17w and 24w), we didn't want to know. An anatomy scan at 19w. Then, at 38w only 2 days before my baby was born we had a routine appt and couldn't find a HB on doppler so they did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was ok, there were no measurements to check size.. I wouldn't change anything, I loved my elective ultrasounds, I did my research about ultrasounds and felt ok with my decision.
That being said I would decline a late ultrasound that was only to check size. They are terribly inaccurate and even though I wouldn't allow a "big baby" to change my birth plan I feel like the thought of a big baby would scare me and but me in a bad place mentally, and I believe mental hang-ups can lead to things like failure to progress.
Even though 8lb 3oz isn't that big of a baby I was better off not knowing. In my mind I was pushing out a 6 pounder
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  #10  
February 9th, 2012, 07:45 PM
HappyHippy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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In a low risk, healthy pregnancy, I think 1 or even 2 are fine. I think there is a point where some women do over do it. My cousin had 12 ultrasounds, specifically to look at the gender (she wanted a girl and was never convinced he was a boy). She was healthy and low risk and there was no reason (her words) to have that many ultrasounds.

I had 2 with ds1 and 1 with ds2. I will always have 1 around 20 weeks to check things out.
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  #11  
February 10th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Dee
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLCharlotte View Post
Even though 8lb 3oz isn't that big of a baby I was better off not knowing. In my mind I was pushing out a 6 pounder
If I can hypnotize myself into that, maybe hypnobirthing can work!
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  #12  
February 10th, 2012, 01:56 PM
Celry's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had a ton of u/s with my twins and never refused. I felt like they were necessary because of things going on with them and the pregnancy. This time around I have had 3, one of which was less than a minute long just to quickly date the pregnancy. While it is great to see the baby, I would say "no" to having another u/s unless there was a medical need for it.
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  #13  
February 10th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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It think it comes down to the unknowns. There doesn't seem to be any specific research that points to u/s being unsafe, but there also isn't research that shows they are safe. I agree that you need to do what you are comfortable with. Unless it's medically necessary, there doesn't seem to be a reason to have more than 2, maybe 3 u/s during a pregnancy.
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