Recreational Ultrasounds – Are They Safe?
There has been a lot of talk in the news about the possibility that receiving a recreational ultrasound may be unsafe. No one knows for sure what the long term effects of multiple ultrasound's are and probably won't for a few more years.
I can defiantly relate to wanting to see your baby. There is nothing more exciting than seeing your babies face for the first time and being offered the opportunity to catch a glimpse at the beautiful little face is nearly impossible to resist. But is it responsible to take part in a medical procedure in a non medical setting?
While pregnant with my second child I considered going to an ultrasound boutique for a sneak peak but because of complications in my pregnancy I decided against it because my doctor informed me that I would be having an ultrasound 1-2 times per week during the last few months of pregnancy. I felt happy because of the opportunity to see my baby and It defiantly offered me peace of mind.
My concern for mothers seeking recreational ultrasound's is based on my experience receiving multiple ultrasound's for medical reasons. During my third ultrasound of the pregnancy at around 22 weeks I experienced some noticeable contractions during the ultrasound. The technician actually noticed them first. I thought that I was having some gas pain when I asked to take a short break and she had commented that my stomach was hard and that she thought I was having contractions. They lasted through the rest of my appointment and well into the night. The doctor didn't believe that it was directly related to the ultrasound and neither did I until the weeks following. It seems that every time that I went for an ultrasound it caused me to have contractions that lasted into the night and sometimes for a few days following. My doctor usually advised that I lay down on my left side and drink a full glass of water when this happened but sometimes this didn't help. More than once I was forced to go to the ER for monitoring and sometimes a shot to relax the contractions.
I know that this won't happen to everyone but wouldn't you hate to know that premature labor was brought on and your baby was at risk all for the sake of a keep sake. My doctor never acknowledged that the contractions were a result of the ultrasound but I know in my heart that it was. It seems a rather large coincidence that it only happened during and after an ultrasound. I am NOT saying to go against the advise of your doctor. If your doctor advises that your receive an ultrasound then listen to them. I'm just saying that perhaps receiving a recreational ultrasound is a bad idea, mostly because they are not performed in a medical setting. If complications were to arise during the administration of a doctor prescribed ultrasound you would be in a medical setting were help could be given.
If you must get a non medical ultrasound, ask questions. Check with your doctor first, require information about the boutique and the administrator, and avoid if you are a high risk pregnancy. In a few short months you will have the best keepsake of all, your baby. Why take the risk unless it's medically necessary?