10 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Prenatal Care Provider

There are no apparent immediate side effects, and not enough time has passed to know if there are long-term side effects. The FDA and the American Medical Association, however, recommend that ultrasound be used with caution.

When you're offered ultrasound, ask yourself if its use this time will make a difference, and ask your doctor if there's an alternative. Will she use a fetoscope, for instance, to listen to the heart beat during your prenatal visits? If you're positive of your menstrual dates (which is just as accurate as the scan), are not interested in knowing your baby's gender in advance, and do not have any unusual occurrences, such as, larger than expected uterus, why not forgo the unknown risk and cost of the scan? And though EFMs are frequently used as nurse substitutes in the U.S., ask to have a nurse who can use the fetoscope, or hire your own private duty nurse (monitrice).

Excerpt from A Good Birth, A Safe Birth
Copyright © 1992 by The Harvard Common Press. This excerpt is reprinted with permission and is copyright protected under international copyright conventions. This excerpt may not be reproduced in any manner, including electronic, without prior written permission from the publisher.

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