Ultrasound: The First Unnecessary & Unsafe Medical Intervention In Many Pregnancies

From Emma Lewis

For a full list of studies: Doppler Danger Links updated

First published in The Mother magazine Issue 16 Winter 2005/2006 and subsequently also published on Joyous Birth (www.joyousbirth.info) and various birth and parenting newsletters in New Zealand, UK & Australia.


Did you have a scan during your pregnancy? Maybe even more than one? Did you give it much thought? Did you investigate before you subjected yourself and your baby to this medical procedure? A medical procedure that, ironically, under medical guidelines should only be used in very high risk cases and for very good reasons.  Did you make a truly informed choice? How much did your midwife or doctor or indeed the radiographer explain to you about the procedure, its effects and implications?Keep the answer to this in mind as your pregnancy progresses and remember how you responded to the offer of a ‘simple medical procedure’, how well your care provider informed you or how much you listened to your heart and your baby.  Did you go along for a scan because it’s what ‘everyone else’ does? And, of course, it is pretty exciting to catch a blurry glimpse of your baby five months before nature intended. Or did you believe it to be harmless because the health care providers you put your trust in failed to reveal all?  Did you allow your fear of possible problems with your baby to distract your decisions and sidetrack you from the answers and knowing that are all there, in your heart?  If you’re considering a scan, do search long and hard about your reasons.

images3If there are serious medical indications for scanning, carefully explore the implications of any results and the degree of accuracy. There are significant numbers of healthy babies medically aborted as a result of inaccurately diagnosed scans and subsequent tests. Any answers you need lie with your baby.  Babies move away from ultrasound scans, hand-held doppler heart beat detectors, electronic foetal monitoring. They know. Their wisdom runs deep. Deeper than we give them credit for.  It has been known for over twenty years that cells are significantly altered by such scans, hence the strict medical guidelines mentioned. I’ve seen the recordings of experiments showing the obvious cellular effects and they are not pretty.


60_LARGECells that are neatly lined up and vibrating gently and orderly before a scan, are jumbled up and moving chaotically in all directions at high speed afterwards. Other mammal experimentation shows this effect continues not for the duration of the scan, nor for minutes, hours or days afterwards, but for generations! Bearing in mind when a woman has a scan and is carrying a baby girl, that baby carries the eggs of her future grandchildren. Do we really want to subject them to cell altering (and unnecessary) tests? Is it any wonder more of our younger women are having fertility issues?  Hardly recommended for anyone, but there is some suggestion that scans cause silent bleeds, which are particularly significant to women who are Rh-, with Rh+ partners (especially if they are choosing not to have the anti-D vaccination/s). It is also not unknown for women to bleed vaginally after a scan. One woman who bled after a scan was reluctant to have one with her second pregnancy but was assured there couldn’t possibly be a link. When she subsequently bled again and asked for her bleeding to be recorded, she was told it couldn’t as there was no scientific evidence of a link!

1367248149825.cachedI think scans are, probably inadvertently, offered routinely at a particularly vulnerable time. Mum-to-be has been pregnant for l4ish weeks (at ’16 weeks’); quite a long time, with little as yet to show for it. No significant telltale bump…maybe no movements yet felt. Often the only indications of pregnancy have been tiredness and/or nausea. For Dad, he hasn’t usually seen or felt much physically, baby-wise, and may see a scan as his first connection with his baby. It’s so tempting to catch an early peep to be assured that there actually is a baby alive and kicking and very real. I wonder if fewer parents would take up a scan option if it was offered 4 – 6 weeks later, once parents have felt the baby themselves?  The hand held Doppler is a quick and easy way to detect a baby’s heartbeat. Anyone who has ever used one is aware of how babies move away from them. Why would they continue to use one? Do you want your lead maternity carer to have so little regard for your baby’s wishes?  It seems it is too quick, too easy…no longer are midwives learning and practicing to use the pinnard or stethoscope to effectively hear a heartbeat.  Or, even better still, learning and practicing the ultimate skills of hearing the mother to tell her how the baby is – encouraging and empowering the mother to hear her baby and her heart – instead of relying on technology to hear merely a heart beat.  So, if you are hoping and planning for an informed, empowering birth, remember you need to own it. By your choices, actions or inaction, investigations or lack of knowledge, you create it.  If you choose to have a health care provider involved, do ensure you have someone who does not need to hear a heartbeat, but instead empowers you to hear the needs of your baby – and your heart.


Published in The Mother magazine Issue 16 Winter 2005/2006


Recommending reading:

Anti-D by Sarah Wickham

Sarah Buckley’s Ultrasound: Reasons for Caution

The Mother magazine, Issue 2 Ultrasound, weighing the risks Mothering, Sept/Oct 2000

Podcast on the dangers of routine ultrasounds in healthy pregnancies

For a full list of studies: Doppler Danger Links updated

5 thoughts on “Ultrasound: The First Unnecessary & Unsafe Medical Intervention In Many Pregnancies

  1. You aren’t qualified to even write about this. You have a background in marketing, no documented education on ultrasound technologies, and you didn’t cite any sources. Maybe there are elements of truth, but what is it based on? What studies were done? This whole article is rubbish and invalidated.

  2. I don’t see anywhere in this article where the author states ultrasound is radiation. Where are you seeing this?

    • Also, I myself didn’t write this article, but reposted it. I am not Emma Lewis. Not sure where you are getting that either of us have a background in marketing. I certainly don’t, and I don’t know if Emma does or not. Do you know of her outside of this article?

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