Is 3D Ultrasound Really Worth It?
In the past few years, 3-Dimensional ultrasound has become very popular among pregnant women and their families. Expectant mothers are using this elective tool as a way to view their unborn baby and create a bond with their baby. Families are giving these 3D ultrasound sessions as gifts to the mother and father, but is it necessary? Are the risks to the fetus really worth the moment of gratification that these ultrasound sessions can bring to the expectant parents? I have a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and as a mother who is employed in the field of Ultrasound, I strongly feel that these sessions are unnecessary and not beneficial.
Olaf von Ramm and Stephen Smith at Duke University first developed 3D ultrasound in 1987. According to the 1982 World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, "Effects of Ultrasound on Biological Systems," stated "…animal studies suggest that neurological, behavioral, developmental, immunological, hematological changes and reduced fetal weight can result from exposure to ultrasound.” ( J. S. Abramowicz) The effects of ultrasound depend on the frequency of the transducer being used, the duration of the exam, and the amount of usage. So what is the point? Why would a mother want to potentially put her unborn fetus in danger? 3D ultrasound can sometimes produce a distorted image, therefore giving the mother an unnecessary sense of alarm, thinking that her baby has something wrong. This can cause stress to the mother, and could potentially affect the well-being of the unborn fetus. Some of these non-medical ultrasound centers will even advise the mother to drink caffeine and eat candy before her visit to guarantee that the baby will be active; therefore making sure the parents will have an enjoyable experience. We all know that drinking caffeine and eating unhealthy during pregnancy can bring unwanted side effects.
In 1999, the American...
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