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jhmomofmany June 10th, 2007 04:43 PM

Are there any complications of pregnancy that can only be diagnosed with ultrasound? If so, which ones?

I've been flip-flopping about whether or not to refer myself for an ultrasound. I'm not convinced they are safe, but I'm not convinced they are dangerous, either.

Please offer your opinions. Thanks! :smile:

UrbanMomma June 10th, 2007 08:11 PM

I don't know..I'm with you...not 100% sure if they are safe or not....I wouldn't have more than one though for any pregnancy. I'm not gonna pay for some just to see my babyover and over again.
I admit I had one with this pregnancy, I had it done in an OB office, so it was diagnostic, but I just wanted to know boy/girl.

jhmomofmany June 11th, 2007 06:59 AM

I ask because I talked with my mom last night and though she didn't mean to, she kinda shook my confidence. My mw does not recommend ultrasound w/o a medical indication, but she would refer me to a homebirth-friendly doc if I asked her to. We couldn't likely get insurance to pay for it, so the few hundred dollars it might cost out of pocket is definitely prohibitive. Still, Mom didn't come out and say it, but we don't know what happened to cause us to loose our daughter at nearly full term. So while there's no reason to think an ultrasound would have changed anything, there's no way to rule out the possibility. I'm just not sure if I am being smart about it or not.

Frelle June 11th, 2007 07:56 AM

I have one ultrasound pre pregnancy, a level 2 that takes forever and measures every last inch of that baby, just for that reason, to check and double check for any potential issues. It would affect my choice of where I birthed if it was clear from an ultrasound that my baby would need serious medical attention immediately after birth. There are not many instances where that could be determined from ultrasound, but Im thinking spina bifida or a heart valve problem or something. So for taht reason, I am comfortable having one ultrasound per pregnancy. Others will feel differently about benefits and risks, but these are my reasons for wanting an ultrasound.

MrsPil June 11th, 2007 05:12 PM

I believe, though I am not positive, that spina bifida and certain heart conditions can be diagnosed by ultrasound. That said I would not have another ultrasound unless I felt I had a reason to worry.

Alison79 June 11th, 2007 05:40 PM

I've had ultrasounds with each pregnancy. I had a friend whose baby had significant issues that they detected with her kidneys and knowing beforehand was very helpful to her and the successful delivery and stabilization of her baby after birth. I think it's a personal decision, follow your heart, it usually doesn't lead you the wrong way. :)

Butter June 11th, 2007 09:09 PM

There are some defects that can be diagnosed via u/s. More often, however, they think there is a problem when there isn't or they miss a problem. I had three u/s with Cameron. One because the OB didn't believe I could possibly know when he was conceived. One for the routine one. And one because the u/s tech mixed up the terms anterior placenta (which I had) and low-lying placenta (which I didn't have). I did not have an u/s when I was pregnant with Ani or Fritz. In the absence of a medical reason I will never have one again.

Soap Lady June 14th, 2007 02:09 PM

Heather is right on--u/s can be helpful diagostically. However, there are A LOT of false positives, so they tell you about a possible very serious problem that isn't actually there. I think each woman has a different comfort level with u/s. In some cases, they are great. I didn't really feel it was necessary so didn't get one. I'm a worrier anyway and figured it was more likely to add to my worry than to put my mind at ease.

CharmieCM June 16th, 2007 08:36 AM

I think everything mentioned here is valid. I've had both attitudes: the "I'll know if i need one" and the "I can't have this baby until/unless I have a sono and know everything's okay." I'll say that the second attitude robbed me of a lot of joy in my pregnancy with Atley. I was so freakin' worried, and not for any good reason.

I have had a client where a pretty significant issue (and a valid reason for a c-section!) was missed. She labored at home until 7 cm and then stalled there for 6 hours or so. Her baby had some positional issues with heart rate, meaning that when mom was in certain positions, baby didn't react well. Usually this means a cord issue (like being compressed by the baby's shoulders or something). Eventually, it was time for some help (pain relief, pitocin, SOMETHING), so we went in and she opted for an epidural, which put her in one of the "bad positions" and she ended up with a c-section for fetal distress. There was a cord complication that could have resulted in the baby's death if she had been born vaginally. And the sonogram she had in her pregnancy TOTALLY MISSED it. But her body knew what her baby needed and she had a fear that baby would not be okay if born at home, that she just couldn't work through, and that's eventually why we went to the hospital.

So I can see it both ways. I trust that women's bodies are amazing and even at the last minute, we'll know if something in our birth plans needs to change to keep our baby safe. I also understand wanting a sonogram to eliminate worries, but I think it's important to know that sonograms are not 100% right, whether they diagnose good or bad news.

jhmomofmany June 16th, 2007 01:43 PM

Thanks for all the input, everyone. I do appreciate it. I think I have decided against an ultrasound for now, but I will discuss it with my midwife. My sweet DH asked me if I think it would have made any difference for Hope, and of course I know it wouldn't have. It trust birth, I trust the way God designed my body, and I trust my experience and instincts; I just can't help being a little scared of another late loss. Still, I'm starting to think that having or not having an ultrasound won't make a difference.

So anyway... thank you all. :smile:


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