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Increased risk of learning difficulties the more scans you have, is my MW talking out of her..

(41 Posts)
FoofFighter Wed 16-Jan-13 19:53:15


MW today was banging on about private scans and that the more scans you have the more likely you are to have a baby with learning difficulties like Dyslexia etc shortly before saying I might get an extra scan at 34 weeks if I am lucky?!

I can't find much concerning this on Dr. Google and what little there is dates back to the 90s..

Has anyone got any advice about this? I'm not worried, just annoyed if she is giving out duff advice to others who may panic about it.

VickyU Thu 17-Jan-13 15:32:32

From what I have read this is utter nonsense. But I did read some research that suggested that private scans where the main objective is to see the baby/get a good picture may be slightly harmful if done too often as they tend to focs on the baby's head more to 'get a good photo' whereas general health scans like growth scans don't do this so are not harmful. This might be utter b*ll*cks but it is what I read! Having said that, I have had 7 hospital scans so far and a final one next week because of various health problems plus 2 private scans at 16 and 21 weeks so I can't have been that worried!

Patchouli Thu 17-Jan-13 13:43:39

I remember reading that scans had shown to cause neurological damage in mice - so they considering higher instances in autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia etc
And that some babies move about a lot / flinch etc as if to avoid vibrations/heat or whatever the feel from the process.

If you have a complicated pregnancy it is better to have scans than to let problems go undetected with possibly tragic results. "

But I would avoid having scans for entertainment.

MrFranklyShankly Thu 17-Jan-13 13:29:25

Oh my god what planet is this woman on....I work in a service that provides care for adults with intellectual disabilities for the 13 years and NEVER once has this EVER been a reasons for a diagnosis for any of the many syndromes that come under the heading learning disabilities......also I'm left handed, and was born in rural Ireland during the dark ages where there was no scans for women, where you seen the dr at 6 months pregnant and they said yep your pregnant!!! My mum never had any scans with any of her pregnancies...So that rules that one out too!

PetiteRaleuse Thu 17-Jan-13 12:50:43

Yes you need to say something. It was a very irresponsible thing to say. I was scanned between every two and four weeks of my pregnancies. My ob gyn said that while they couldn't be certain than scanning did no harm, for the moment there is no evidence to say it does any harm. Your mw needs to stop spreading crap.

Emsyboo Thu 17-Jan-13 12:42:44

Definitely take it higher think of any inexperienced or naive mums who may take it to the word.
The pros of scans outweigh the possibility that there may be adverse effects.
Scans give you knowledge that could save lives and are just sound waves.
Millions of babies are born that have been scanned but they are also exposed to more of other things so a rise in autism, dyslexia etc cant be put down to scans until there is better analysis no medical professional should be stating this as fact. X

orangetickle Thu 17-Jan-13 12:39:09

Load of crap.

I'm in the USA and have been scanned at EVERY SINGLE appointment (I'm not high risk, no concern over the baby etc - just standard procedure). Not for long each time, but I reckon I've had over 20 scans this whole pregnancy so far (am 34wks)....

FoofFighter Thu 17-Jan-13 12:18:13

Thank you all, I think I need to say something to someone don't I?

Vix07 Thu 17-Jan-13 11:50:56

I was told the same thing - have just googled to see if I can find the original - but this is similar

The original specifically referenced US studies done on rats/mice showing significant defects but obviously these cannot be replicated in pregnant women for ethical reasons. It is also worth bearing in mind that where data has been collated from women who have had a more intensive scan programme where the pattern of higher levels of problems had originally been picked up these women were already high risk hence the need for additional scans... tho this is not exactly conclusive refutation.

FWIW I took the line that the benefits of the standard scans done here (esp the 20 wk abnormalities check) out weighs the potential risk, and that we simply would avoid any medically unnecessary scans.

MimiCooper Thu 17-Jan-13 11:26:00

Because there has not been enough research done into the possible side effects of Ultasound Scans in pregnancy to make give a 100% definitive answer,(its not been too long medically speaking since scans in pregnancy have been done). Most Obstetricians and midwives would be irresponsible to say they are risk free. However saying that the benefits are considered to outweigh the risks in most situations. There have been studies into Autism links, Deafness and ADHD and many other things which appear to be on the rise in children to see if the Scans are the cause, but nothing has been proven yet. So whereas your midwife was wrong to say too many scans will cause a problem, she was right in that nobody can say scans are 100% safe.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 10:41:50

Yes, I would like to point out that anicdote doesn't equal evidence.
I'm certain that DD1 is dyslexic due to being my DD and nothing to do with extra scans. She's very like me in other ways too.

Clear being small and having low amniotic fluid levels may be a risk too.

However, DD2 was pretty small too, but I had laid back MWs and no extra scans. She is as undyslexic as it is possible to be. However, once again I think that is genetic. She is DHs DD and his English teacher DMum's grand child to the letter.

The twins are IVF which also may or may not have an effect.

bamboozled Thu 17-Jan-13 10:19:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bamboozled Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:20

Total and utter bollocks. You should report her for scaremongering.

Startail Thu 17-Jan-13 10:06:04

DD1 (lots of extra scans 32 weeks+ for low fluid and being small for dates) and DFs twins (extra scans for being twins) are dyslexic and one twin is left handed.

Non of or other DCs who haven't had extra scans are dyslexic.

Mind you I'm dyslexic too and I don't thing scans existed.

TwitchyTail Thu 17-Jan-13 09:55:22

Agree with LeBFG. I had a growth scan at 28 weeks for being marginally underweight pre-pregnancy. Growth was fine but it incidentally picked up a problem with the placenta, and I'm now being monitored and treated appropriately with plans for early delivery if/when things deteriorate. Without this, my baby could well have been stillborn and I'd never have known why (it is not something that could have been picked up any other way until it was too late).

So I'm taking all the scans I can get thanks very much.

LeBFG Thu 17-Jan-13 09:34:09

There's a good argument to doing more scans in fact. Routine third trimester scans are great for checking cords around necks, foetal wellbeing, growth and others things too I'm sure. I don't think this is routine in the UK (I'm in France - this is routine here). For instance, Singapore do lots of scan and have one of the lowest stillbirth rates in the world.

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Thu 17-Jan-13 09:25:45

Very dangerous for a so called professional to be spouting things like that without an evidence base

perceptionreality Thu 17-Jan-13 09:15:37

This is one of those things you couldn't possibly know the answer to tbh - how would anyone be able to accurately research such a thing?

These days lots of people have scans in private clinics for non-emergencies - if there was a known risk I doubt this would happen. But it's a bit like the mobile phone hypothesis isn't it?

DonderandBlitzen Thu 17-Jan-13 09:12:11

I had a pregnancy yoga teacher who was very woo and she said "Sound rays can be used to demolish buildings. Think what they can do to a baby!" hmm

dappleton Thu 17-Jan-13 09:06:23

I live in a part of africa where everyone who can afford private hospitals use them rather than public. The private hospitals scan so much that I lost count of how many scans I had. The public hospitals scan just once as far as I know. Based on your MW's theory most children in this country from wealthier backgrounds would have learning difficulties and most from other backgrounds would not. Unsurprisingly it's not the case.

fraktion Thu 17-Jan-13 09:03:17

In France it's fairly common practice to scan quickly every month so that's at least 8, possibly more if you have to have anomaly scans redone. I had scans at 6, 11, 13, 17, 22, 24, 28, 32, 33, 36 and 40 weeks. DS is only 20 months but I'm not particularly worried about dyslexia.

throckenholt Thu 17-Jan-13 08:50:54

I would say she is !

I had frequent scans with my twins (probably about 20-30 in all) - and they are fine. One is left handed though grin

TwitchyTail Wed 16-Jan-13 21:35:00

Total bullsh*t. They are sound waves. No radiation is involved!

Repeated radiation may be harmful but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

Another person here being scanned every week (from 28 weeks) and I'm a doctor. Your midwife really needs pulling up on this, as her daft comments might well discourage other women from having even clinically necessary scans, putting them and their babies at risk.

Littlemissexpecting Wed 16-Jan-13 20:58:08

It's rubbish. I was under the recurrent miscarriage clinic and until I got to 14 weeks I was scanned every week from 5 weeks. This was requested by my consultant. They wouldn't do that if there was other contraindications. Ignore her, enjoy the private scan if you have it!

scaevola Wed 16-Jan-13 20:53:51

The left-handedness thing arose from a Swedish study which showed slightly huger than expected rates. But this study was never replicated and confirmed, because the medical advantages of scans were so clear and overwhelming it was ruled unethical to deprive any woman of them.

happy2bhomely Wed 16-Jan-13 20:53:38

Midwives are supposed to provide 'evidence based' care and information. So, she could say that there is simply not enough evidence to know for sure how safe scans are, and some might prefer to avoid unnecessary scans but she absolutely should not be saying what she said!

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