Ultrasounds have come a long way in recent years — and there’s nothing like seeing a 3-D image of your child before he, or she, is born.
Although ultrasound imaging is the most widely used medical imaging method during pregnancy, the FDA strongly discourages their use for creating fetal keepsake images and videos, according to a recent study.
The FDA website states, “The long-term effects of tissue heating and cavitation are not known. Therefore, ultrasound scans should be done only when there is a medical need, based on a prescription, and performed by appropriately-trained operators.”
Krystal Parker, the owner of Baby Sightings, a local business that offers the 3D shots, said her business does have appropriately trained operators.
“Our sonographer here has over 11 years experience,” said Parker. “When she’s doing the ultrasounds, she’s using the correct settings, she’s using the correct guidelines.”
Domonique Strong, who is 34 weeks pregnant, visited Baby Sightings on Wednesday for her second 3D ultrasound.
“It’s really nice seeing her, how big she’s getting, and I just can’t wait to see her,” said Strong.
Doctors say although this is a fun and exciting time for parents, it can be dangerous.
“A woman may go for a vanity ultrasound where they may detect an abnormality,” said Dr. Rebecca Brightman, an ob-gyn. “There isn’t a physician or a professional on site who can explain the abnormality that may have been detected at that point in time.”
But, Parker said, every woman who steps through the doors of her business must already be under the care of a physician.
“We have found abnormalities. It is our procedure here, as long as it’s non-life-threatening to mommy, we contact the physician,” said Parker. “Our sonographer calls, lets the physician know what she has found, and we’ll send the proper documentation over.”
Although Parker said her business uses correct guidelines, many do not, and something should be done.
“There is no regulations over it at this time, so there’s places that pop up that don’t hire sonographers or don’t use somebody that knows what they’re doing so they’re going in there, they’re using medical equipment when they don’t really know what they’re doing,” Parker said.
As for Strong, she said the 3D ultrasound has been a great way to get closer to her baby, and she believes it is not harmful, as long as she doesn’t overdo it.
“If you went like everyday or something like that, but I’ve only went a few times, and it’s not like they recommend it like all the time,” said Strong. “Just in the short amount of time I’ve been, it’s been a really good experience.”