Seeing your baby through ultrasound imaging is one of the coolest things you’ll experience during your pregnancy. Deciphering which limb is which, finding out the sex, and finally being able to see your baby’s beautiful face is an amazing feeling, which you may want to experience over and over again, especially if they bring you peace of mind. Ultrasounds are always prescribed under your doctor’s orders, but if you want to see your little one even more, can you request more ultrasounds during pregnancy?
Romper reached out to Dr. Adrienne Zertuche, an OB-GYN at Atlanta Women’s Healthcare Specialists, and President of Georgia Maternal and Infant Health Research Group, who says that generally, additional, non-indicated ultrasounds are not recommended during pregnancy.
“Ultrasonography is safe for your baby when used appropriately, like when medical information about a pregnancy is needed,” says Zertuche, “however, we cannot be 100 percent certain that the energy that is delivered to your baby via the ultrasound probe is entirely innocuous.” For this reason, your obstetrician will consider a number of factors when deciding the frequency and timing of ultrasounds during your pregnancy, and it is important that you adhere to his or her recommendation.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), traditional ultrasounds are performed by placing a conductive gel on your belly, while a transducer produces sound waves in your uterus, generating a picture of your baby by bouncing off their bones and tissue. Because the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposure to fetuses isn’t really known, explained the APA, they should only be used when medically needed.
It’s understandable that a pregnant mom may want to get more ultrasounds, so they can lift the veil of mystery that surrounds pregnancy. By getting an inside look at what’s going on inside your belly, you may feel more connected to your baby (and more confident that they're doing OK), but because the health risks are unknown, repeated and unnecessary ultrasounds aren’t a great idea. The good news is that with a little bit of time and patience, you'll be able to see your baby in your arms, all day and all night. (Literally — all night.)