--- Ultrasound---Research and Links

There is lots of talk and questions about ultrasound and the safety of using it during pregnancy. I wanted to compile some good links with research or respected authors so here it is!

As somebody who innately distrusts any kind of intervention during pregnancy and birth I am always cautious about anything that is "safe" just because it is used.

Another thing to keep in mind that is often overlooked- the Doppler used to check the heartbeat is a higher frequency of ultrasound than the picture ultrasound and results in lots of exposure. Keep in mind that the biggest chunk of exposure that most women get is when they are continuously monitored while in labor. That is another good reason to avoid the epidural and the continuous fetal monitoring. It is also good reason to open your mouth and talk to women about ultrasounds- most of them have yet to get their biggest exposure.

Hope this is helpful!
Dangerous and Unethical?- Here

Safe?- Here

By Marsden Wagner- More Harm Than Good?- HereLink
This link has many many articles by noted birth professionals regarding ultrasound- Here

From Midwifery Today, covers ultrasound, heat and the link to Autism- Here

From Banned From Baby Showers- a few posts- Here


Becci said…
I get so mad when I think about our conversations with our first two providers about ultrasound.

We started our pregnancy like most couples, without any thought to our birth preferences and no plans. We ended up going to an OB practice in the hospital closest to our house.

At our first appointment, they gave us a little gift bag of coupons, parenting/pregnancy mags, and formula. As we read through the magazines, we read that there is some controversy as to the safety of ultrasound. The article said the Mayo clinic advises parents to limit the number of ultrasounds they obtain and to make sure those ultrasounds are completed by qualified technicians.

We'd never heard anything like that. EVERYONE gets ultrasound. We thought it must be perfectly safe.

Anyway, we asked our doctor at our next appointment if ultrasound is safe. She actually laughed at us. We mentioned the articles and asked why the Mayo clinic would say that. She said, "I don't know. I guess because it's still a medical procedure and uses medical resources..." We ended up taking a sneak peak that day (routine ultrasound wasn't until the next appointment) at our baby and his gender.

We ended up switching hospitals because we started educating ourselves and defining preferences and we realized we hated that hospital. Also, I wanted a nurse midwife.

A few weeks after we switched, I'd finished Sarah Buckley's book and knew our intuition had been right about ultrasound. I was furious with that OB, but glad we switched. I decided to talk to the nurse midwife at our new hospital about options for limiting Doppler use and specifically about limiting monitoring during labor.

After listening to me, she said, "Well, Doppler isn't ultrasound." I was SHOCKED! For that and a couple of other reasons, we decided to fire her, too and we ended up doing a home birth. We hired our home birth midwife at 37 weeks! We are SOOO glad we did.

I still worry about my little boy and all the ultrasound exposure he had (3 sonograms--they couldn't see heart arteries well on the routine scan, so we had to have a second--and Doppler monitoring at every appointment from the end of the first trimester on). I just pray that he will continue to develop into a happy, healthy child.

For our second, we will probably still have some ultrasound, but thanks to Sarah Buckley...much less! AND we'll be interviewing technicians, with specific questions about their equipment and directions about what information we care to know.