Can I ask the doctor for an extra ultrasound? — The Bump
January 2017 Moms

Can I ask the doctor for an extra ultrasound?

I know you ladies can't answer this for my doctor, but...do you think there is any chance of me being able to get a quick ultrasound at my next appointment, if I ask the doctor really nicely? You see, my husband didn't make it to my first appointment when they did the dating ultrasound, but he's going to be able to make it to the appointment next week. I really want him to be able to get a peek at the baby (I'd love to, too!). I know this office typically only does two: the very first one, then the one  at 20 weeks. But I just wonder if I ask them to do it as a favor....if they would....? Any of you ladies ever do this?
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Re: Can I ask the doctor for an extra ultrasound?

  • My doc would agree in a heartbeat, but not day of (ultrasounds are scheduled independently of the doctor's schedule because they have specific u/s techs) 
    LastMangoKnottie1443924966
  • Maybe a boutique ultrasound place? Usually they won't do an ultrasound unless you have a problem. 
    LastMangoKnottie1443924966emy730
  • Agreed about calling ahead; if they know in advance they can better plan their day. You may get an unhelpful office manager, but I think your chances are better if you give them a heads up. Day of, people will be stacked up in the waiting room and they may not be as willing to be flexible. 




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  • Vivi20Vivi20 member
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    I didn't even think to ask ahead of time. I'll definitely do that. It doesn't even need to be a long one, just a quick "hey baby!" and that's it.
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  • It may depend on your doctor. A lot of times, the reason it's limited to 2 unless there are problems is for insurance purposes. Doctor may do it, but insurance won't cover it so it depends on whether or not you want to pay for it. Insurance considers a dating us and anatomy scan routine care and will cover (most of the time) and if you have an issue that requires additional scans, they will be coded as medically necessary. Depending on your doctor, they may code it as medically necessary for you or they may not. I would call and ask ahead of time though so you guys can get it on the schedule if need be.

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  • I asked for one at my last appointment, just felt off and wanted reassurance. So they wheeled in a portable US machine. The picture wasn't as good as when they go down he hall to the ultrasound room but it was on the spot. 
  • Vivi20Vivi20 member
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    edited July 2016
    @katesmama0706 that's the kind of ultrasound machine my doctor office has. One of the rolling portable ones. I'd never seen anything like it before because last time I was pregnant I had both ultrasounds at the special ultrasound floor of the hospital. It was much bigger and fancy. That's actually why I was thinking that I couldn't imagine why they would say no to me, since it seems easy enough to just wheel it in.
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  • @jlea05 haha yeah the nurse had actually rolled it into my room for my appointment today too because she thought my chard said ultrasound. Turns out it was a note that said I wanted a quad test but I wasn't about to question an ultrasound machine in my room! I definitely can't imagine they would find it a big huge pain in the ass to roll it in for you!
    Vivi20
  • With my last pregnancy my insurance would only pay for 2 u/s so my doctor stealthily did one during our normal appointment and just didn't charge us for it.   If it's an actual u/s with a tech, I don't know if they could get away with that.   They can get pricy too.  The last one I had where they were just looking at where my placenta was to see if they could do CVS which took about 5 min cost $400 before insurance.  
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  • Oh yeah I didn't consider insurance. Mine covers any and all ultrasounds. I'd check with them before you ask if you're not willing to pay out of pocket if they won't cover it! 
  • How often do most people get a US? I had one at my first appointment at 6.5 weeks then at 10.5 again because he couldn't find the heart beat with a doppler. Im fully expecting another at my 14.5 week appointment. Should I not?Thanks for bringing this up, I'm going to give mine a call.
  • spano41spano41 member
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    edited July 2016
    @Michellewfhs I think it really depends on your practice.  A lot of times they will do a dating scan if you don't have a good idea of your LMP.  Then the NT scan if you choose to do that, and then the anatomy scan around 20 weeks.  So really if you have a low risk typical pregnancy, have a good idea of your LMP, and don't do the NT scan, you can get away with only needing one u/s your whole pregnancy. 
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  • Ours doesn't technically do them every time but last pregnancy I would try to schedule when to office was slow and they did them at most of my visits but they have them in more than one room so availability was higher. I think the idea of calling ahead might increase your odds though. 
  • If it's just the kind they roll into the room I think they'd be more likely to say yes, especially if you request ahead of time. My midwife couldn't get a heartbeat with Doppler today so she wheeled one in and did the US in two seconds. I don't think that kind is an insurance issue. 
  • @Michellewfhs  In Canada where we don't have to worry about insurance cause US are all covered we usually get 3-4 ultrasounds. You can request less if you want less, and if your high risk they will often give you more. The only downfall is our OB's don't have ultrasound machines so we have to go to a separate clinic to get them done.  

  • canavaracanavara member
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    edited July 2016
    If you're not wanting it for diagnostic purposes and your doc says no to an extra, you could always go to a boutique place that does them--I did that at 12 weeks and it was a LOT more fun than when they do it in the doc's office, mostly because they really put a ton of money into making sure they have the best quality ultrasound machine--usually a longer experience and sometimes they'll turn on the 3D for you depending on far along you are. Pretty affordable too (mine was $75 for a 30-minute experience with a DVD of the entire ultrasound at the end--they also were OK with bringing as many people as I wanted since they project the thing onto a huge screen and have couch seating for your whole family, which was kind of cool)
    Me: 34 / OH: 37
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  • Since they have a small portable one I would ask! Ours did a couple since couldn't see anything at the first one, then 20weeks and again towards the end to see how "big" baby is measuring.
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  • Vivi20Vivi20 member
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    @canavara That is definitely a good option if we can't do an extra one.
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  • It depends on how many ultrasounds your insurance covers. Might be more affordable to do it at a boutique like how others have mentioned.
  • My doctor has this little game boy looking device that he's done ultrasounds on for all my appointments but just as a quick check since we can't hear the heart beat yet.
  • The variation in number of allowed ultrasounds is so weird...a friend of mine who lives in Brazil just told me that her doctor does weekly ultrasounds starting at week 35!
  •  MaryNog said:
    The variation in number of allowed ultrasounds is so weird...a friend of mine who lives in Brazil just told me that her doctor does weekly ultrasounds starting at week 35!
    Is your friend using the free healthcare system or private? If private, that's probably a large part of it since you end up paying so much out of pocket and end up with top tier medical care. The insurance system in the US is such a mess that I think a lot of doctors don't even check the number of ultrasounds your insurance covers and just assume it's 2 to avoid hassle (I know mine didn't even check and was at first really rigid on 2 until I told them, "I called my insurance, my plan and coverage is awesome, and they seriously will cover every ultrasound you request, no questions, please stop skimping on my healthcare purely on assumptions")
    Me: 34 / OH: 37
    BFP #1: 5/21/15 - Twins / MMC - 7/23/15 / D&C - 7/26/15
    BFP #2: 4/26/16 - Due date: 1/1/17
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  • @canavara that was my first thought too, and apparently she just has amazing (private) health insurance. I bet the public system wouldn't allow that, unfortunately.

    It's great that your plan covers as many as you need! I have Kaiser and I think they tend to stick to 2 (NT and the 18-20 week one) unless there are concerns about the baby's size in the 3rd trimester.
  • I was starting to wonder if I was the only one with stingy insurance and/or doctors. On the ultrasound page it seemed like a lot of people have had "surprise" ultrasounds that didn't seem to be related to concerns in the part of the practitioner. I'm jealous! It would be so nice to have that reassurance!
  • Vivi20Vivi20 member
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    I wanted to bump this up and just let you all know that I DID get to have an extra ultrasound! I had my checkup the other day and I asked the doctor if there was any chance we could take a peek at the baby, and she said YES! So we got to see our baby and it was a lot of fun, especially since my husband and our daughter was able to go and see, too. All looked good, and the baby has grown a lot in the last 4 weeks. And the doctor printed out a bunch of pictures for us, too. So, I'm glad I asked, because I  almost didn't.
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