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Has anyone else gone through an entire pregnancy not exactly knowing… 
9th-Aug-2012 09:19 pm
Has anyone else gone through an entire pregnancy not exactly knowing when they're due? With my first pregnancy, I did not get an ultrasound at all, but had a pretty accurate idea of my due date since my periods had been regular for most of my menstruating life. (I gave birth 4 days shy of my due date)

This time, I intend on getting one ultrasound, probably, but am undecided on how to proceed... I would be anywhere between 4-9 weeks (or even outside of that) because my 16-month old still breastfeeds like a maniac and have not really had any regular periods, yet, since 2010, basically... all I can say for sure is that I am pregnant and the nausea is way less intense this time, hooray!

...I am a business owner, so the only issue lies in the fact that I would like to give a fairly accurate date to my students/employees/parents when my life will change, and subsequently theirs, in order to accomodate everyone, find a replacement for me during my maternity leave, etc, without my business falling apart.I am not convinced that ultrasounds are the safest practice, which is why we avoided them the first time, so I am torn...

X-posted to naturalbirth
10th-Aug-2012 01:42 am (UTC)
I don't think that not having accurate dates is the worst thing in the world, and in some instances might be kinda helpful (arguing with doc about induction at 41 weeks, for example), but there are also some instances where it would be really helpful - if you went into premature labor, for instance, or to catch IUGR near the end of pregnancy.

As far as the safety of ultrasounds goes, I really don't know of any evidence whatsoever that they're dangerous, although I have seen people raise questions about the energy levels used at those hour-long optional ultrasounds done at boutique places. But... a dating ultrasound would be very different than that - they are usually super quick (10 minutes at most), and most doctor's offices use a fairly low power instrument. Since your window is pretty big and the ultrasound would narrow it down to about a week and a half, I think it would be worth the slim-to-nonexistent risk of getting it, but that's JMHO.
10th-Aug-2012 02:55 am (UTC)
Just sharing this quickly since your post piqued my curiosity about the research:

Again, not to advise you to do anything you're uncomfortable with, but the literature does suggest that a medically indicated u/s at appropriate power levels is probably less risky than, say, eating soft cheese. :)
10th-Aug-2012 01:49 am (UTC)
A dating ultrasound takes about ten minutes, or even a tiny ultrasound in your doctors office could be as short as five minutes, and can give you a good guess. I had a "lets see if there's really a baby in there" ultrasound at my midwife's office, and they were able to give me an accurate estimate. It was five minutes, tops.

Other ways they could guess a date would be your HCG levels, checking for heartbeat, or even just feeling at where your uterus is. The only thing is that if their guess is off quite a bit, you could end up being induced too early, or if you go into labor "early" end up with a baby that is potentially taken away right away to the NICU, and not being able to deliver at your intended hospital, or even having the doctors try to stop labor.
10th-Aug-2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Not to try to convince you to do anything you don't feel comfortable with, but my dating ultrasound was a transvaginal one that only lasted, I don't know, two minutes? The machine takes measurements quite quickly at that stage, since the baby is so small and so easy to get on the screen. My mother only had one ultrasound during six pregnancies, and actually got a bit aggressive with me when I was fine with them, leading my husband and I to research the safety a little. Even in the research that my mother cited, the main one that showed negative results, at the end of the study, the author even said that he'd advise his own daughter to take advantage of ultrasounds if she was pregnant, since he didn't think the typical medical ultrasounds proved any danger. But I know it's important to do what feels comfortable for you!

Edited at 2012-08-10 01:57 am (UTC)
10th-Aug-2012 01:47 pm (UTC)
I don't think you can get an accurate-ish date without an ultrasound.

10th-Aug-2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
My doctor gave me a dating ultra sound and it was literally under 2 minutes :)
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