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Anybody skip ultrasounds?

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August 21st, 2012, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 33
Is it unheard of to skip ultrasounds and bloodwork, GDB testing, etc? Just curious if any of you NCB'ers have also gone the "natural" way before the baby is born or would that just be a huge no-no, even to midwives?

I went to a group of midwives and an OB for my first three, and they sure did everything UNnaturally! Tests, referrals, scans, you name it! Many things I declined, but we did some of the "routine" stuff. But I think with our next (if we are so lucky) that I'd like to forego all that jazz and have a truly natural pregnancy and birth. I wouldn't be against having something done (a treatment) if necessary, but the other stuff? Hmmm...

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August 21st, 2012, 07:05 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
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I didn't forgo tests alltogether, but I was picky. It was NBD to the midwives.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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August 22nd, 2012, 12:14 AM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
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My midwife is fine letting her clients decide what testing they are comfortable with.
Alison - Mom to: Emmeline (7/14), Augustus (2) Maximus (4) Eleanor (5) Reid (6) Evelyn (8) Lucas (13) Christopher (14)

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August 22nd, 2012, 07:44 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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I had my ultrasounds because they were a comfort to me, those opportunities to see that baby is fine and well in there.

I've had my blood tests as well, because I'm slightly anaemic and sure enough developed anaemia during this pregnancy so it was important that I did have them.

They wanted to give me an amnio because I'm over 35 but since it doesn't matter to me if the baby has challenges and I wouldn't consider termination anyway, I refused that, and nobody seemed to mind.

I haven't been offered anything else.

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August 22nd, 2012, 08:19 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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We weighed our options each time. I did have ultrasounds, the first tried to date the pregnancy but the baby lacked a HB, so I had another that did date the pregnancy and confirm a live preg. I also had the 19 week anatomical if the baby had some huge structural abnormality that could be made worse by vaginal delivery (intestines outside, malformed face etc) I wanted to know and I also wanted to make sure that I was at a place (hospital with a level 3 NICU) that could handle it. I also did GBS. For the glucose tolerance test I ate a 100g carb breakfast, not the fasting drink, if my provider hadn't agreed to the breakfast I would have declined. Everything else, was declined, quad screen, nuchal translucency, any testing for genetic abnormalities. I had one midwife that wasn't on board at all, when we declined the quad screen we got a lecture that in our state if we waited until the 19 week ultrasound that there was something really really wrong, then we would only have a couple of weeks to get an abortion while it was still legal here (23 weeks is the cut off in FL). That was our last appt.
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August 22nd, 2012, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by FLCharlotte View Post
I had one midwife that wasn't on board at all, when we declined the quad screen we got a lecture that in our state if we waited until the 19 week ultrasound that there was something really really wrong, then we would only have a couple of weeks to get an abortion while it was still legal here (23 weeks is the cut off in FL). That was our last appt.
Oh, how SAD!!! I can't imagine!

Well, I have mixed feelings about all this stuff. I have really appreciated your responses. I didn't know the reason for getting the 19 week scan done - I just always liked seeing the baby! But now I feel leary (sp?) of doing any of it because some is unneccesary and some is risky, and yet most is made to sound perfectly fine (like antiobiotic use, etc.) Ugh...I am still researching. I have always opted to skip the genetic abnormality scan but I've always jumped at the chance to have a regular u/s. But, honestly, do I really want to expose my baby to any rays whatsoever? Idk the answer to that yet.

Off subject slightly, but I had a midwife give me prescription for an antibiotic because I *might* have a UTI when I was 20-something weeks. She wanted to give it to me preventively, but I declined and told her I'd wait until the lab work came back...it was negative, so I would've taken it for nothing. I only took 2 doses of Tylenol during my whole p/g because of killer headaches in my first trimester, but otherwise, med-free. I'm not saying all drugs are bad, but I am only game when they are NEEDED! And I am thankful for them when they are needed.

Ok, rant over.
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August 22nd, 2012, 05:54 PM
NewGurl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I opted out of the genetic screening but everything else has been as normal it hasnt been much at all though iv had 2 ultrasounds 2 vaginal exams and 2 blood draws. 1 of each at the ER and one of each at the OB. perhaps its because of the confusion with my dates as well as my insurance coverage but I dont see anything intrusive about whats been done or planning on being done. Im doing the 1 hr gloucose and an iron check next week and according to the last doc I saw if both of those come back good Ill be done just the basic progress checks untill I give birth.

Honestly with the bleeding I had at the beginning and this being my first time pregnant I wish there were more even though everything is coming back good now I still find myself worrying if somethings going wrong in there. I would be afraid to go the whole time without any tests or monitoring. is it possible im sure you could if you wanted but Id rather know if somethings wrong and its very comforting to know so far its not.

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:00 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Montana
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We had an early u/s at 9 weeks and then our 20 week anatomy scan. The early was just because of our two previous losses for reassurance. On our next I'll likely just opt for the 20 week. And I only think that because I'm getting close to 40 and we don't have a NICU at our local hospital so that might affect things. Otherwise we've opted out of just about everything else. We will check my blood sugar at my next appointment, but that's going in an hour after a meal and getting my finger pricked. No genetic testing or amnio either, as it wouldn't make any difference for us and we don't have any risk factors other than age. And, unless it's absolutely necessary, we won't be doing any cervical checks either.

I have had to take antibiotics twice - once for a confirmed UTI and once for a root canal. And I do feel a little paranoid about that. I take the occasional tylenol but that's it on the meds for me.

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August 22nd, 2012, 10:04 PM
MissusF's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I wanted and had ultrasounds but my midwife doesn't require them. I think most, if not all, testing, procedures, etc. are not mandatory with her.

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August 23rd, 2012, 01:43 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I had ultrasounds and a lot during my pregnancies. DD1, they couldn't detect her heartbeat until almost 20 weeks. With DD2, because I have a history of repeat pregnancy loss and DD1 has a heart defect we had several ultrasounds to check on her. We did GBS and the diabetes testing with both. I also did the NT scan with DD2 as thickening can indicate heart issues. We didn't do any additional blood work or testing. I also had an u/s when I was overdue to check on DD2 (fluids, placenta, etc).
If I had didn't have those issues, I wouldn't have worried about the additional ultrasounds. Just the 18-20 wk scan would have been fine.
Mommy to H (6) and E (brand new)
4 Angels gone too soon

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August 23rd, 2012, 01:51 PM
daneeleigh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I wanted and had all the required ones. I felt safer having them that way if something was wrong we could be prepared to handle it. That being said, my 20 week u/s missed my velamentous cord insertion which could have been potentially life threatening to me or my baby. So I will get my u/s next time but at no point will I feel safety from them other than seeing the hb (although I have a doppler at home that I use to listen to it).
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August 24th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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I refuse all unnecessary tests. I have had an ultrasound with each pregnancy at 20 weeks....it is not necessary but selfishly, I want to know baby's sex. When I was planning a home birth with Eli, my midwives that I was using didn't even do ultrasounds, they would refer you to another midwife if you wanted one.
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September 9th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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I see a midwife, but at the very start of my pregnancy, I had some bleeding, and freaked out, so I went to the ER and had an ultrasound and some bloodwork. I then went to a clinic for my first prenatal appointment where they did bloodwork again and charged me for three pregnancy tests (***) after I had already had one at the hospital...so then i switched to the midwife. the only other ultrasound I got was at 18 weeks to find out the gender. I had bloodwork done for generic stuff like STDs and whatnot, and then again for the glucose, but i opted out of the others.
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September 10th, 2012, 08:06 AM
bajars2531's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We got to pick and choose what we wanted. I opted for the u/s, but we didn't get one until 20 weeks. We had more monitoring towards the end but I had high bp so it was important to monitor the placenta etc. We did no genetic testing and my midwife was really supportive and basically said there was no need for it in our pregnancy.

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September 11th, 2012, 10:57 AM
Pinkapple's Avatar Veteran
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This is my first baby. Thus far I have only allowed testing for certain issues that run in my family, as I've realized that the tests are sometimes not all that accurate. Ultrasounds were something I initially didn't want to have, but I've realized that they comfort me. I tend to worry a lot, I suppose because this is my first, and I like to see that everything is okay.
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September 11th, 2012, 12:22 PM
Dhartanya's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I didn't refuse any of the ultrasounds.
I'll have to have a few more because my 20 week ultrasound showed my placenta was low laying.
I had the quad screening but would have refused an amino if the screening came back with elevated risks.
I'm also doing the glucose test, simply because adult onset diabetes does run in the family.
I've take tylenol on a semi regular basis because I do have lupus and a couple other pain disorders.
For my own peace of mind (manly because of my own health issues) I don't mind a little monitoring.
I also love getting the chance to see my daughter on a u/s!
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September 14th, 2012, 04:59 PM
*Anna*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I skipped alot. Skipped the anatomy scan and level 2 scan--- I did go to a ultrasound place designed to only do gender test. But we didn't do any with my provider. I skipped the gestational diabetes test altogether. And I am skipping the gb strep test too. I will not be doing any newborn tests or shots either. I've been taking 18-20 alfalfa a day so baby is getting plenty of vit k. We're having a Homebirth and my midwife supports all I want too.
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September 14th, 2012, 05:35 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I skipped most optional testing. I do let them draw blood to check my levels, because I feel that it's important to make sure I'm getting enough of the various vitamins/iron/nutrients that I need.
I'm not sure about the GD test, I don't know if my midwife will require it or not. I'm hoping not, but we'll see.
I have had my fair share of U/s, just because for a while my placenta was low, and in the front.
I haven't made up my mind about after the baby is born, but I'm still looking into that stuff.

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September 24th, 2012, 11:57 AM
Earthy.Mama's Avatar .*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
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I only do the 20wk ultrasound. I decline all others.

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September 26th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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I am 16 weeks pregnant with my first, and I have been doing tons of research on everything. After extensive research on ultrasound I have decided against it. I will start by saying that every major, respectable health organization in the world advises AGAINST routine ultrasound. They say that the only reason you should have one is if there is a medical implication for one. The following are considered unnecessary u/s exposure: determining gestational age, determining gender, assessing fetal size and growth, confirming multiple pregnancy, determining fetal presentation. There have been no clinical studies to prove the safety of u/s, yet there is large body of evidence suggesting that it is harmful. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that u/s exposure "...can cause physical effects, such as mechanical vibrations [cavitation-bubbling effect that can damage cells] or an increase in tissue temperature." U/s heats bone at a different rate than muscle, soft tissue, or amniotic fluid. As bones calcify, they absorb and retain more heat. During the 3rd trimester, the baby's skull can heat up to 50 times faster than its surrounding tissue, subjecting certain parts of the brain to secondary heat that can continue after the u/s has ended. When the baby is subjected to dangerous rises in temperature, he has a heat-shock response that allows him to shut down normal development to protect himself from the exposure. This means that normal protein synthesis will be suspended and survival is achieved at the expense of normal development.

There have been studies on fetal mice and primates in which u/s exposure disrupted neuronal migration (when the neurons are travelling to their final destinations) and results showed damage consistent with that found in the brains of people with autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, mental retardation, and schizophrenia. Though mice brains are obviously not as complex as human brains, there are reasons to think that u/s exposure may have a similar or greater effect on the fetal human brain. Basically, because our migratory pathways are longer and more complex, there is a greater risk of neurons going astray. The settling pattern of neurons in primates is more precise, so we have lower tolerance for malpositioning. Different parts of our brain follow a schedule of development, so depending on when the u/s is done, whatever is developing at that time will get disrupted.

I have read numerous studies supporting the finding that having u/s done does not improve birth outcomes, even in cases of high-risk pregnancies, multiple gestations, or major anomalies. Frequent u/s exposure is linked to low birth weight, delayed speech, disruption of membrane attachments of cells, increased rates of miscarriage, and increased rates of premature birth (often with subsequent neurological damage.)

U/s are notoriously faulty at diagnosing birth defects. A study from Oslo looked at how many babies born with serious birth defects had been diagnosed by u/s, and whether the early diagnosis made any difference in birthing outcomes. Out of the identified cases, only 36% of the defects had been detected. Although the babies with the pre-diagnosed defects received surgery faster, the outcomes were the same as those that were not pre-diagnosed. In another study considering babies that were pre-diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation), barely more than a quarter of the growth retarded babies were pre-diagnosed. About the same number was WRONGLY diagnosed. Imagine the effects of stress and subsequent unnecessary repeated u/s exposure these mothers had to endure, in addition to an increase in the number of unnecessary c-sections and intensive care for the misdiagnosed babies. There are also no studies that indicate improved outcome for early detection of placenta previa.

And this is only the surface. Similar results have been found in routine electronic fetal monitoring and use of doppler. I have read that using doppler to listen to the heartbeat is actually WORSE than u/s, because it is a steady beam of exposure, whereas u/s uses blips of exposure. One minute of doppler is supposed to equal 30 minutes of u/s on a fetus. I like the way this quote puts it, "Quite simply, if u/s can injure babies, it can cause the same damage whether done for routine, diagnostic, or 'entertainment' purposes." Consider the fact that using ultrasound during pregnancy is a pretty recent development. We don't know the long-term effects. Sure, plenty of babies that have been exposed to u/s are born "just fine." Just because they don't have any serious defects does not mean that they developed optimally. But what of the subtle effects on IQ and reflexes? Consider the recent surge in the incidence of autism and adhd. There could be many causes for these, but again we do not know. I find it curious that this pandemic is happening right alongside these fashion trends of inducing birth, having unnecessary c-sections, and getting 3D ultrasound videos at every visit. Despite major scientific findings, the FDA approved an 8-fold increase in the minimum acoustical output of u/s equipment. "Coincidentally" this happened when these more advanced u/s machines came out. In other words, they didn't increase the minimum safe exposure because they discovered that more exposure actually is safe, they did it to accommodate the advancing technology. The more and more technological interventions we use, the more complications we have. There is a serious flaw in Western approach to pregnancy and labor, and I strongly advise every woman to do her research, QUESTION these methods, and not become a slave to the process.
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