Mod Midwives: Ultrasound in Pregnancy

Expectant families have many decisions to make during their care. In last week’s podcast and blog, we gave you a tool for making these decisions. This week, we discuss one such choice you will make: whether or not to get an ultrasound (or more) during pregnancy.

Even though there remains a fair amount of suspicion in some circles regarding ultrasound safety, the balance of evidence demonstrates safety. An anatomy scan mid-point in pregnancy can rule out a number of conditions that might mean home isn’t the best birth location for you. And it can give us some information about the estimated due date when dates are uncertain–among other things that might be specific to your circumstances. However, there are some cautions we discuss: all ultrasounds should serve a clinical purpose, keepsake and boutique ultrasounds are not regulated or recommended by medical organizations, and we don’t actually know the upper limit on the number of ultrasounds that is safe to receive during your pregnancy.

We hope you’ll tune in to listen to our take on ultrasound’s usefulness in the home birth midwifery care setting.

Hershkovitz, R., Sheiner, E., & Mazor, M. (2002). Ultrasound in obstetrics: a review of safety. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 101(1), 15–18.
Newnham, J. P., Doherty, D. A., Kendall, G. E., Zubrick, S. R., Landau, L. L., & Stanley, F. J. (2004). Effects of repeated prenatal ultrasound examinations on childhood outcome up to 8 years of age: follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 364(9450), 2038–2044.
ISUOG statement on ultrasound exposure in the first trimester and autism spectrum disorders. (2016). Retrieved from