Pregnancy is one of the most natural phases in a woman’s life.
From the moment of conception through the day of birth, the female body undergoes a myriad of changes to help prepare the unborn child for life outside the womb.
While this is a joyful time for expectant mothers, many women also experience anxiety and apprehension.
Am I eating right? Is this activity safe for my baby? Can I use this product while pregnant?
The last few decades have presented us with a multitude of studies on risk factors for pregnancy and the precautions women should take during each phase of their pregnancy.
From the obvious such as stopping tobacco use to some lesser known like avoiding your cat’s litter box, there are an abundance of factors to take into consideration.
But is ultrasound one of them?
Health care providers and physicians have implemented ultrasound imaging—the same technology used in submarine radar—in the medical field for the last twenty years.
Ultrasound imaging works by sending sound waves through the body’s tissue.
When the sound waves come into contact with an object, they are bounced back and interpreted into images.
For obvious reasons, ultrasound’s ability to provide internal views of the human body without incision or surgery has made this method of examination quite popular across all medical departments. But by the same nature, this idea of sending anything unnatural into the human body has created quite a few skeptics. And there is certainly no question why expectant mothers may be the most concerned.
The truth is, however, that ultrasounds are safe for you and your baby. Studies conducted on the effects of ultrasounds have never revealed any potential harm that could occur from a prenatal ultrasound. In fact, many doctors suggest that declining a prenatal ultrasound could put you and your baby at greater risk than the ultrasound itself.
As a precaution, despite no known safety hazards, ultrasounds should not be conducted more frequently than medically necessary. However, doctors do recommend having an ultrasound performed at least once during your pregnancy—if not twice. The frequency and number of ultrasounds is individual to each woman and should be discussed with your doctor.
In general, women who have a known history of pregnancy complications, are older than 35 or experience difficulties early in a pregnancy should have ultrasound exams performed more frequently throughout the duration of their pregnancy. For other women, a doctor may not recommend an ultrasound until the second trimester.
But in all cases, a prenatal ultrasound is essential to ensuring the health of your unborn child, as well as yourself.
Ultrasounds can be performed as early as the first trimester. Although the fetus is very small, an ultrasound at this stage allows the doctor to examine the implantation of the fetus, as well as how far along you are in your pregnancy and how many babies you are carrying. Examining the fetus’s location and implantation allows the doctor to determine if you or your unborn child may be at any risks during the pregnancy.
The earlier potential complications are diagnosed, the better your doctor will be able to plan to help you carry a healthy baby to full-term. Your baby’s development should continue to be monitored throughout your pregnancy.
Ultrasounds in later stages of your pregnancy can reveal your baby’s gender, alert your doctor to any possible health concerns for you and the baby, and additional ultrasounds can help you better predict when your new bundle of joy will be arriving.
If you are still concerned about the safety of ultrasounds, take a moment to weigh the pros and cons of both decisions. Ultimately, it is your body and your baby.
The decision is yours, but remember foregoing a procedure with no known safety hazards may be putting your health and the health of your unborn child at risk.
This post was written for Sparkles & Stretchmarks 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+</