by Lisa Fogarty
Anyone who is pregnant and has been subjected to a barrage of tests may have a difficult time understanding the paradox of the following two words: "entertainment ultrasound." Lord knows most procedures and moments associated with pregnancy and childbirth -- aside from that glorious second you finally meet your baby -- aren't a walk in the park. Yet that term could apply to any number ofunnecessary ultrasounds that pregnant moms can choose to get, including 3-D fetal videos and sonograms performed at "non-medical clinics" that can tell you your baby's gender quicker than ever before. It's no wonder some doctors are railing against these procedures -- but women should be up in arms about them, as well.
I feel pretty ignorant, I admit, but I didn't even know "non-medical" clinics offered pregnant women ultrasounds -- nor did I realize there is a procedure women can opt to get in their first trimester that lets them know whether they're having a boy or a girl. Apparently, some moms-to-be are abusing this technology by terminating female fetuses because they were hoping for boys -- which is just too horrific to fathom.
I am a lot more familiar with 3-D fetal ultrasounds because, when I was pregnant with my first baby, my doctor automatically performed one on me without even letting me know beforehand. It took place during my 5-month checkup at a lab, where I was able to find out that I was giving birth to a daughter -- and see her face so clearly and perfectly on their high-tech video screen that I felt like I was looking at an actual photo of her. She had pronounced lips and cheekbones and a jawline -- it was totally nuts. They asked if I wanted a video to go along with my photos (for a pretty hefty price, of course), and I politely declined because the whole thing seemed awfully odd, to be honest.
More From The Stir: Scary New Miscarriage Study Just Proves Pregnant Women Can't Win
I already can't help feeling like insurance companies profit big-time off of women's pregnancies. I am a healthy woman who had a really easy first pregnancy, yet I've been subjected to so many ultrasounds during my second pregnancy, you would think something was seriously wrong with me. We've all heard there are possible risks involved with ultrasounds -- some argue a link may even exist between frequent ultrasounds and autism -- so why risk it?
Unless a test is deemed absolutely necessary, it should not be administered to a pregnant woman. We have too much at stake.
Have you ever had a 3-D fetal video or ultrasound you suspect may have been unnecessary?
Image via shannonpatrick17/Flickr