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Exposing The Truth: Is Ultrasound Exposure Safe For You And Your Baby?

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The excitement of finding out you’re expecting often “pales” in comparison to “seeing” you child for the first time via modern technology.

Gone are the fuzzy photos of years past, only to be replaced by high-tech 3-D pictures, that many (professionals) suggest has taken the focus off the original medical intent.

In fact, the shift in focus has been so “dramatic” that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the French Academy of Medicine have all expressed serious concern about such (ultrasound) scans and use for non-medical purposes. In fact, the FDA notes that random exposure to ultrasound should be avoided, particularly during pregnancy.

And, more cautionary messages are also being delivered from Health Canada who is also urging expecting parents to conduct ultrasound ONLY for diagnostic purposes and ONLY when the medical benefits outweigh the anticipated and foreseeable risks.

One of the areas of significant concern arises from companies who’ve begun marketing and promoting the use of fetal ultrasound machines specifically for the purpose of procuring videos of babies in the womb as a keepsake for moms and dads. Experts add that ultrasounds conducted in such setting offer no additional or valuable information about the baby and/or it’s health and developmental progression.

Diagnostic ultrasounds, on the other hand, are typically used to detect birth defects, movement, size, age and health of the “incubated” infant. In fact they have been successful in identifying and confirming health risks to either mother of child.

However, some suggest that even these “essential” screenings may have a biological effect on the fetus.

Experts report that medically untrained staff may not posses the skills necessary to evaluate or deal with certain cries such as the discovery of a birth defect. But, they do acknowledge that seeing the child via such scans can result in a positive bonding experience between parent and child.

A study released in 2004 however was unable to substantiate claims that exposure to multiple ultrasounds during the first 18 weeks of pregnancy had any significant impact on the growth and development of the fetus.

The study examined both children who were subject to five or more ultrasound exposures and those who’d only been exposed to one. The conclusion was that there were no significant or noteworthy differences in speech, language, behaviour or neurological development between the two groups.

Long Island Safety Articles > Exposing The Truth: Is Ultrasound Exposure Safe For You And Your Baby?

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