Debunking Myths Surrounding Pregnancy Ultrasounds
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
When it comes to pregnancy, nothing is more important than keeping your unborn baby safe from harm.
Ultrasounds are a key feature of prenatal care, allowing professionals to make sure the baby is growing and positioned as expected – not to mention giving parents the incredible opportunity to meet their little one for the very first time. However, the spread of misinformation around the safety of ultrasounds has skyrocketed in recent times. From emitting radiation to causing childhood cancer, these false beliefs have led to many parents questioning whether they should cancel their upcoming ultrasound appointments.
That’s why the team here at Next Generation Prenatal Imaging has written this article: to bust the various myths surrounding ultrasounds. SO, WHAT IS AN ULTRASOUND? Ultrasounds, also known as sonograms, involve sending high-frequency sound waves via the abdomen into the womb. These waves bounce off the unborn baby and are converted into images, showing their position and movements. Each scan typically takes between 20-30 minutes and is a painless procedure. As well as tracking the baby’s development and estimated due date, ultrasounds can screen for serious health conditions, including those caused by genetics. That’s why it is always sensible to visit your prenatal care provider, to make sure your baby is healthy and developing as expecting. Now, onto some myth-busting… MYTH #1: HARMFUL WAVES While almost everyone is subjected to small doses of radiation each day from household items such as cell phones, laptops, and Wi-Fi, considerable amounts of these waves can be extremely detrimental to an individual’s health and wellbeing. Thankfully for both babies and expecting parents, as OB-GYN and women’s health expert Dr. Sherry Ross explained to CCRM Fertility, no radiation is emitted during ultrasounds – just harmless, high-frequency sound waves used to monitor the fetus, ovaries, placenta, and amniotic fluid. MYTH #2: HEALTH CONDITIONS From eating the correct foods to enjoying regular exercise, prioritizing rest to consuming vitamins, it is a well-known fact that a baby’s health largely comes down to their mother’s lifestyle choices while pregnant. Despite this, babies can still develop health conditions in the womb, for reasons that include genetics and problems faced during the pregnancy itself – no matter how healthy the mother may be. These cases are sometimes inevitable, but the good news is, an ultrasound will not do anything to influence the risk of adverse health conditions emerging. In a 2009 study conducted by WHO, researchers compared 41 different studies and found no link between ultrasounds and physical, mental, or intellectual harm to the mother or baby (including birth defects and cancers). MYTH #3: LESS IS MORE Another common misconception is that expecting mothers can have too many ultrasounds during pregnancy, causing physical danger to the unborn child. Fortunately, there is no reliable evidence to indicate an association between the regularity of ultrasounds and increased risk – though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still recommends that ultrasounds should “be performed only for medical reasons by qualified health care providers” rather than on a casual basis. Feeling reassured and ready to schedule an ultrasound appointment after reading this? If so, please get in touch with a member of our team today!