It has become popular for expectant parents to learn the sex of their unborn infant as a result of ultrasound images created during the first pregnancy trimester. However, the Canadian Association of Radiologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recently reminded people in an article appearing in the “Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada” that ultrasound imaging is a medical procedure that should only be performed by trained healthcare professionals.
The ultrasound examination is intended to identify potential problems that may exist during fetal development. Though extremely safe, there have been very recent animal studies indicating there may be small impacts on fetal brain physiology and development. The clear message is that any medical procedure should only be conducted as necessary for maintaining fetal health. Ultrasound imaging was not intended to be performed by non-medical personnel to produce the first “baby pictures.”
In the United States, many state and local laws require that any person doing ultrasound imaging while using a diagnostic ultrasound device must have a physician’s order. Most employers today require Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to have ARDMS registration, and the professionals understand proper use of the technology and the limits of the laws. Keeping the fetus safe and healthy is the ultimate goal. There is plenty of time to take keepsake pictures once the baby is born.
Further Reading: Not Even a Fetus Can Stifle a Yawn