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FDA warns against unnecessary ultrasounds

One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy might be getting to see your little one in the womb through ultrasound. But a recent warning from the FDA comes down hard on so-called keepsake ultrasounds. Those are the ones offered by businesses just for fun. Dr. Charles Mirabile uses ultrasound every day while treating high risk pregnancies at the Perinatal Center of Oklahoma. "We always try to do what's best for the patient first," said Mirabile, who is a maternal fetal medicine specialist. "Safety always comes first." It helps him check on a baby's size, age, movements and breathing. It can also detect some birth defects. But Dr. Mirabile says ultrasounds should be limited. "More isn't always better."The FDA now warns against ultrasounds for non-medical reasons, especially those for creating keepsake images and videos. The concern? The high-frequency waves used might be damaging to the baby *if not used properly."The first and most important thing to remember is it's a medical intervention," Dr. Mirabile said. "And there are indications and precautions that are in place for safety." The FDA also discourages home-use of doppler fetal monitors which allow you to hear your baby's heartbeat whenever you want. "Dopplers have their pluses and their minuses," said Dr. Mirabile. He says being able to periodically check for the heartbeat can be reassuring, but it could bring on more stress for women with a history of pregnancy loss. "That can also be a very frightening time for someone who's not finding the heartbeat right away and already has high anxiety," he said.We checked around, and there are a good number of these keepsake ultrasound businesses operating here in the metro. It's always a good idea to talk with your doctor first if you're considering using one of them.

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