3D Ultrasound: Just because we can doesn't mean we shouldby Cindy Crosby, Certified Doula and Childbirth Educator

3D 4D ultrasound photo

3D Ultrasound: Just because we can . . . doesn't mean we should.
Technology available today can do amazing things. But is this technology helping us achieve better outcomes?

In many cases, the answer is no. For many expectant parents, the thought of seeing their unborn baby is reassuring and exciting. Many do not even realize that there are potential risks to ultrasound technology. Did you know that the FDA has put out a warning against "keepsake" 3-D ultrasound imaging? Technicians performing ultrasounds in non-medical settings like mall shops do not necessarily have the training that medical staff do. Even if the equipment is used correctly, there are still questions regarding ultrasound safety. "The radiation associated with them can produce effects on the body," says Robert Phillips, Ph.D., a physicist with FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). "When ultrasound enters the body, it heats the tissues slightly. In some cases, it can also produce small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues." Phillips says the long-term effects of tissue heating and of the formation of partial vacuums in a liquid by high-intensity sound waves (cavitation) are not known.

prenatal ultrasound machine The long-term effects "ARE NOT KNOWN". This is a very new technology. What are the benefits? What are the risks? It's impossible to answer that completely, but I would encourage women to err on the side of caution and limit ultrasound exposure to a minimum. It may require a little more patience to wait to see that face, but developing that patience will serve us well. We'll need a lot of that as mothers, right?

quotation source: www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm095508.htm

Written by Cindy Crosby, Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator, and blogger at www.birth-smart.com. She currently lives in Derby, KS with her husband and 3 children