Girl Planting seeds

Prenatal Ultrasound—Not So Sound After All

Prenatal ultrasound is a taken-for-granted component of modern maternity care, to such an extent that most obstetrician-gynecologists find it impossible to practice their profession without it. American women now routinely undergo four to five ultrasounds per pregnancy. Despite the absence of demonstrated benefits, there is also a trend toward “new applications of ultrasound…at earlier stages in pregnancy” (p. 47), including Doppler fetal heart rate monitoring that magnifies the unborn baby’s exposure manyfold.  A Scottish physician developed the first 2D ultrasound machine in the late 1950s. Intended for prenatal scanning as well as gynecological tumor diagnosis, the machine drew on the doctor’s prior experience with military radar technology. Now, the latest growth sector in ultrasound technology is 3D imaging (which shows the baby’s face) or 4D ultrasound that creates a “live video effect, like a movie”—luring parents into stockpiling “keepsake” footage of their baby’s in utero facial expressions.  Read more....

 

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