Becoming a parent for the first time is stressful, but only if you let it be. It’s a major lifestyle change to say the least. If you’re an expecting parent, you may believe you should fear everything. Experts constantly shout the latest data about the latest threat that could probably, maybe, kill everyone under the age of three. New information bombards new parents, telling them what is harmful for the baby, constantly.
Take a deep breath, and step back from the edge. The future is not bleak, and everything will be okay. Tune out the noise, and focus on what you can control. A big question that all new parents have is; “is it safe for kids to have an ultrasound?”
The safety of an ultrasound may concern you when applied to your growing baby, and that’s only natural. Understanding what an ultrasound is and how it works are important things to know when answering that question. There really is no need to worry.
Know first and foremost that an ultrasound is completely noninvasive. There is no pain or discomfort during the procedure. An ultrasound is little more than sonar. It uses sound waves to create an image that otherwise can’t be seen. The sound waves flow into the body by a probe, and the waves bounce off soft tissue and organs in the body. The returning waves and the data they create stream into the computer, a formula is applied, and an image is created. Basically, an ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture.
The main concern surrounding ultrasounds is that the sound waves carry energy into the fetus. The fear is that this energy can raise the temperature of the baby and cause adverse effects. There are inherent risks associated with any medical procedure, but there is currently no evidence showing a prenatal ultrasound, done properly, poses any danger to the baby or mother. Doctors have used ultrasound technology as a diagnostic tool for almost 40 years to monitor fetal development. Most doctors agree that it’s a safe practice when done by a trained medical professional. The diseases and birth defects that an ultrasound can find far outweigh any adverse effects it may cause.
Even though ultrasounds are safe, doctors recommend them only when medically necessary. In the case of a high-risk pregnancy, a doctor may order more later in the term. An overabundance of caution is the impetus behind this practice. Doctors want to reduce any risks to mother or child and make sure everyone is healthy.