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When Sarah Carter was pregnant with her first child, she started digging into the research on ultrasounds, scouring studies in mice and rats. She couldn’t find any evidence in humans they cause harm — professional groups agree that ultrasounds are helpful and safe to perform during pregnancy.

But Carter didn’t see any studies that explicitly showed they were safe. Then, she heard something that compounded her concerns. After an ultrasound, a friend of a friend was told her fetus had a limb malformation. She spent her pregnancy riddled with anxiety, only to find out nothing was wrong after the baby’s birth.

Carter decided to refuse every ultrasound while pregnant. To her, the idea of spending her pregnancy anxious about ultrasound results seemed risky — riskier than the chance of missing something rare, but important, on a standard scan. When her birthing center told her an ultrasound was mandatory to deliver there, she found a new provider.

…continue reading ‘I Wanted to Trust My Body’

thumb image via STAT: HYACINTH EMPINADO/STAT

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