Late term ultrasounds
Late term ultrasounds
I’m hearing more and more about couples being offered (or being told they “must” have) late term ultrasounds for various reasons. The most common reason is to check the size of the baby.
There is one really big problem with this though – ultrasound is not an accurate way to assess the size of the baby! The only way to know how much your baby weighs is to put them on a set of scales.
Late term scans are notoriously inaccurate. It is very widely accepted that by the time you reach the 3rd trimester the potential variation in weight can be up to 10 – 20 percent. If baby is estimated to be 4kgs that is a possible variation of 400 – 800grams. Yep – your 4kg baby could potentially come out weighing a mere 3.2kgs. That is significant!
Through our hypnobirthing classes we talk about having faith in your body. Trusting that your body knows how to grow your baby and how to birth your baby. If you are nourishing your body and baby well and have no health complications, there is no reason to believe that your baby will have any growth issues. Or that your baby will grow too big to be birthed positively and safely by you.
We also talk about decision making. And the importance of using your BRAIN when gathering information and making a decision. So if you are offered a late term ultrasound (or ANY ultrasound or procedure!) it is really important to ask questions and gather information.
Sometimes it can be easier to not ask the questions in BRAIN format but to ask:
Why are you recommending this procedure? Ie: is this just a routine policy or is it based on my individual health circumstances? How will it benefit my baby, my birth and myself to have this procedure done?
What are the risks of the procedure?
What is my intuition telling me? Ie: Is my gut feeling that baby is well and this is an unnecessary procedure? Is my intuition telling me that the information that I may get from this will help me to make some decisions I need to make?
What will the recommendations be if my baby is “big” or “small”?
What will happen if I decline this procedure?
Just because a procedure, even a really common one like an ultrasound, is recommended doesn’t mean that you have to have it done. Just because every other woman that sees your OB has this procedure doesn’t mean that you need to as well.
Ask questions and be informed. The decision is yours and yours alone.