Informational Links Below.
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
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.
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