The recent trend of creating video keepsakes of your unborn child via Ultrasound does not come completely risk-free, the FDA pronounced this week.
The FDA has released a consumer update strongly urging pregnant women to adhere from creating Ultrasound keepsake videos, as the use of ultrasound devices “by trained healthcare providers is important” and necessary to ensure fetal safety.
Although there have been no reported risks of fetal Ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to view inside of the womb, the concern lies in the long-term effects of these scans when not monitored by a healthcare professional.
Ultrasound can heat the tissues, producing cavitation (very small bubbles) which have unknown long-term risks. Regarding fetal keepsake videos, the duration of most imaging sessions are unknown, as well as the number of sessions it takes to capture complete footage. At times, each session can last for over an hour. In addition, it is impossible at times to know whether these exams are properly administered. For similar reasons, the FDA also discourages the use of over-the-counter heartbeat monitors as there is no oversight by a physician.
Although expectant parents feel a keepsake video is a way to create a unique, lasting memory of their unborn child, there are other options to form a bond with prenatal care. Therefore, it is best to skip unnecessary scans not monitored or prescribed by a medical professional.