For many expectant parents, any sneak peek they can get of their child before the actual delivery is a welcomed treasure. Through the latest ultrasound technology developments, images are clearer and provide much more detail, tempting anxious parents to head to their closest ultrasound facility. Compared to traditional 2-D images, the newly promoted 3-D portraits and videos offer a closer look at the child’s features, such as the face, fingers, toes, heart, and genitals. This new offering also claims to highlight womb activity including yawns, winks, kicks, rubbing of noses, and thumb sucking.
With the development of 3D ultrasounds, came a rise in demand for keepsake ultrasounds, which spawned the opening of keepsake ultrasound centers nationwide have become so popular that dozens of sites have opened up nationwide. However, expectant parents who consult with their doctors about keepsake ultrasound centers might be met with hesitation, prompting potential fear of ultrasounds.
This fear can be put to rest, however, because doctors are not concerned with the safety of these ultrasounds, rather, they are wary to recommend these centers because some of them operate at a much different standard than a medical ultrasound facility. Not all keepsake imaging centers have medical doctors and licensed technicians on board. This may falsely reassure women of their baby’s health or cause undue anxiety over something on an image that may turn out to be nothing at all. In an extreme case, a woman might get a keepsake ultrasound and think her baby is fine. Reassured, she could decide to forgo seeing a doctor due to insurance, financial, or scheduling issues and miss out on important prenatal care or identifying risks not evident on the keepsake ultrasound. Further, the non-medical personnel that work at these centers may not be able to provide proper counseling to patients, as even a prior medical ultrasound does not guarantee a normal outcome at the next ultrasound screening.
There may be potential risks associated with keepsake ultrasound centers, but ultrasound technology itself has a well-documented history of being safe for both mother and child. Ultrasounds are routine procedures where high-frequency sound waves are transmitted through the abdomen using a device called a transducer. Echoes are then recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of the womb. Additionally, ultrasounds are non-invasive and do not utilize any radiation. Further, be assured that the Federal Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines on the energy levels emitted by ultrasound machines, so there is no need to worry about an ultrasound causing harm. In fact, high-risk obstetric patients are actually put through a protocol of weekly or biweekly ultrasound exams in their last trimester, demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of ultrasound technology.
While there is no scientific evidence demonstrating the medical value of keepsake imaging, many can see the value offered by the service, as it brings connection and commitment to the pregnancy. However, if you are interested in a non-prescribed ultrasound, you still need to consult your doctor before you proceed. Your doctor will be able to assure you of the safety of prenatal ultrasounds and let you know what to look for in a keepsake ultrasound center.
It is important to approach any procedure related to your baby with caution and to educate yourself on the risks and benefits. In the case of prenatal ultrasounds, not only are they safe and regularly performed, they are able to provide important information about the health of your baby. If you have any other questions about prenatal ultrasounds, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor before you schedule your first look at baby.
This post was written for My Model Mummy by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.