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Ultrasound, Doppler and Fetal Monitor Risks
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While the risks of ultrasound, doppler & fetal monitor during pregnancy are not fully known at this point, it is important that people realize all of these machines put out a form of radiation, some at stronger levels than others, with the hand-held doppler generally being the most intense.
 
Ultrasound has been possibly linked to miscarriages, and (when many ultrasounds are done throughout pregnancy) lower birth weight, and pre-term labor, as well as potential hearing loss and brain damage.
 
The ultrasound is not always accurate. Oftentimes people are pressured into terminating a viable pregnancy, simply because the ultrasound indicated there may be problems with the unborn baby. Any physical problems with the baby are extremely rare, and in a majority of cases, if anything is detrimentally wrong, a miscarriage will generally occur during the first trimester.
 
Under various types of circumstances it has been shown that there is not a significant difference in the outcome of babies whose compromised conditions were known before birth and those whose conditions were not known till after the birth, as long as treatment was sought as soon as possible after the child's problems were realized post-birth.
 
There can also be a false sense of security when nothing is detected on the ultrasound findings and something really is wrong. Likewise, lots of couples have been through nerve wracking experiences, being told something may be wrong with the placenta, baby or babies, when in fact, testing at certain times during gestation often tends to give an answer like that. Many times, it's something that normally changes on it's own over time, yet plenty of health care providers will jump the gun and presume something is wrong until they can prove otherwise, causing so many couples unwarranted stress.
 
Another issue to consider is that a large number of OB's and MW's these days seem to utilize the prenatal ultrasound as a tool to try to "guesstimate" the size of the unborn baby/babies. "Guess" really is the operative word here, because the ultrasound is no better than a flip of a coin in determining fetal size, yet so many members of the medical community insist upon using these iffy ultrasound findings to scare their patients (or "clients") into accepting risky diets, inductions, and sometimes, even scheduled c-sections.  These procedures carry there own inherent risks, and are so often unwarranted. Again--it's the domino effect that tends
to get you. 
 
Another thing about ultrasound is that the frequency of sound can be so intense, it can be used in physical therapy to break up scar tissue and calcium deposits on various parts of the body. This is the same kind of technology so many unborn babies these days are exposed to. It does make one wonder about the possibly damaging effects such technology could have on a developing unborn baby. The loud noise and vibration could explain why  so many people talk about their unborn child(ren) jumping all over the uterus, apparently trying to hide from the u/s wand and/or hand-held doppler. It must be very scary for the babies, not to mention, it must leave their ears ringing for days. This also makes one stop and think about hearing damage to the unborn, due to ultrasound--at least you'd think it would.
 
In coastal areas, there is often a problem of whales and dolphins beaching themselves. It has been recently determined by environmentalists and marine biologists in these areas that the goverment use of underwater doppler radar interferes with the animals sonar, and because the doppler radar is so loud and inecscapable, it drives them out of their minds and they beach themselves--yet again--lots of people wonder why the little baby is often squriming all over the uterus, waving their arms, kicking their legs, or sometimes just covering their face and ears, all in an attempt to try to get away from the loud doppler and/or ultrasound. Although the frequency emitted is more intense with this type of equipment, it is all the same technology. It's also the same technology that brings us the daily weather report.    
 
Many women that choose to UC have come to a point where they trust that their bodies and intuition and know their bodies would do what create the appropriate response in most any situation, and when a time comes that it is obvious that the body needs medical intervention, most UC'ers will then consider it. 
 
Also, the ACOG Does NOT recommend routine ultrasounds (or the routine use of dopplers or external fetal monitoring, i.e., EFM) during the course of healthy, low risk pregnancies. In fact, the inventors of the ultrasound machine (and the inventors of the external/internal fetal monitor and dopplers) never had routine use in mind (for any of these devices) in healthy, normal, ("low risk") pregnancies.
 
The book "Silent Knife--Cesarean Prevention & Vaginal Birth After Cesarean" by Nancy Wainer Cohen & Lois Estner, also has studies to back this statement up, and shows that routine use of the electric fetal monitor (or doppler) is not really a good indicator of fetal well being, and that routine doppler or EFM use is also not necessary or recommended by the ACOG, and really has had no positive effect on the final outcome for unborn & newborn babies.
 
It is also interesting to note that the ultrasound was never intended to be used before 3 months gestation (Donald, 1980), yet all that has changed now, what with the invention of the internal vaginal probe ultrasound.
 
Here Are Some Links Regarding This Subject...

FDA Cautions Against Ultrasound 'Keepsake' Images

Ultrasound - by Beverley Lawrence Beech

Ultrasound Research Lab; Loud as a Speeding Train...

On The 'Safety' and 'Usefulness' of Prenatal Ultrasound

Ultrasound Scans May Harm Unborn Babies

Ultrasound: More Harm than Good? by Marsden Wagner

The Dangers of Prenatal Ultrasound

Ultrasound Scans Linked to Brain Damage in Babies

How Ultrasound Works

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