Ouououou….now you can not only get soft toilet paper, but you can get ultra soft toilet paper.
We are so used to thinking that ultra means better…. and so it would stand to reason that ultra-sound would be better than just plain sound, right?
Most women have no idea that the little machine with the probe that is put onto the mother’s abdomen – after having been smeared with a Smurf-blue colored goo – from the time they are newly pregnant at each and every prenatal appointment is a concentrated “dose” of ultrasound, and that there are MANY researchers who are convinced that this is not at all safe for babies. It is extremely rare for me to ever use the doppler during any prenatal appointments at all. I don’t want to expose any little developing baby to something that I am convinced has some serious sequellae. From the very first time that I heard about ultrasound, many decades ago, I’ve felt suspicious of a technology that was able to peer inside a pregnant woman’s body and view the developing baby.
It is disturbing to me that ultrasounds are being done earlier and earlier. And the earlier that they are done, the more disturbing they are to the newly-conceived, ever-changing-and growing embryo/fetus. Think about how intense the power must be to detect a heart that is developing that is barely the size of the top of a pencil. We have no way of knowing what in the world is happening/developing at that exact moment in time when we expose the baby to various tests – and no one seems to pay any attention to this; it may be that an ultrasound done at ten in the morning will have a completely different effect on a baby than one done at two in the afternoon that same day – because different things are happening that morning than in the afternoon. Perhaps at ten, something very important (as if there is anything that is NOT important…) is forming in their nervous system – but later in the day, that system is resting and the endocrine, or the circulatory system is busy doing its thing. Perhaps all three – and other systems – are forming – and so – all of those are exposed to ultrasound, which many people know has all different kinds of effects on muscles, tissue and bones.
When I listen to a baby with a fetascope, I know that I’m not doing anything to disturb the baby or the fluid around the baby – nor am I disturbing the placenta. It is true that I cannot hear a baby’s heartbeat (and with the fetascope I am hearing the true heartbeat, not an echo of it) until 18-21 weeks – this is perhaps the baby’s way of teaching us patience even before he/she is born. It requires, in this culture at least, a certain amount of initial faith that the baby is, indeed, inside and growing. There are a few, very few, exceptions when I use a doppler during the pregnancy.
In preparation for writing a third book, I interviewed the man who is one of the chief research and design engineers for ultrasounds – wait until you learn what he has to say about them.
For starters, just to whet your appetite, he reminds us that they were developed for rare situations when there was no other way to ascertain information and it was imperative that you have that information right away – and that he knows for sure they may not be safe for babies. He is aware of many of the inaccuracies of this technology and acknowledged that doctors don’t want to hear about them. Indeed, it’s not easy to take away a toy away from children who are playing with them.
Using a fetascope helps us to get to know each baby – what position it prefers, how much it’s growing. By listening this way, we are physically closer to the mother; always with her permission, we palpate her gently and help her get her to know her baby more intimately as well. And when she hears her baby’s heart tones each time, knowing that she is not exposing her baby to anything which may be potentially dangerous, her joy and pride increase.
Many modern day obstetricians don’t own fetascopes anymore. One woman who took the childbirth classes that I teach with another CPM asked her mEdwife not to use the doppler anymore when she went to her monthly appointment. “I saw one around here once,” she was told. “But I have never used one.” Our reliance on obstetrical technology is not in the best interests of our bodies or our babies. Using ultrasounds the way that we do, and as early as we do (those tiny little brain stems are just beginning to develop, you know, as are those three miniscule little bones in the inner ears…) is just plain –