Growth ultrasound — The Bump
VBAC

Growth ultrasound

I had my 36wk appt today and the doctor had me scheduled a growth ultrasound at 38 weeks.  I scheduled it, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it.  We've all seen how unreliable a growth u/s can be, and heck even one doctor in the practice told me they are unreliable.  DH and I need to discuss it further, but I was looking for your opinions, ladies, and what things we should consider. 

FTR, All my fundal height measurements have been right on.  With DD, I was always on the high side.  DD was 8lb 6oz when she was born at 37w1d.  She was big, but not huge, and I'm betting she was not in the right position.   

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Re: Growth ultrasound

  • Personally I would be hesitant to have a growth ultrasound if there were no underlying issues like GD or I was measuring way off.  There are studies showing that growth ultrasound measurements often lead to doctors recommending more inductions or c-sections than are necessary, and that these interventions don't improve the outcomes.  Studies show that when doctors don't estimate the size, more women are able to deliver vaginally safely, even when the babies actually are large.  

    For a VBAC, the last thing I would want to do is give anyone a reason to push a repeat c-section or make them skeptical of my ability to deliver vaginally, especially given what the research says. 

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  • I'm with Iris. I'd be disappointed that my doctor even requested one. If you're measuring right, what's the point? :/

    If you do go, be armed with knowledge. An 8-lb baby is not a reason to induce or c/s, even if it is accurate. Macrosomia means 10 pounds or more, so if it's anything under 10, just say, "great!" and walk away. :P But 10 and up shouldn't mean an automatic c/s either. There's a woman on another board who VBACd a baby over 12 pounds! But you might want to discuss the different risks, remembering of course that you don't KNOW that the baby really is that big, and weigh your options.

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  • Ditto Iris.  My OB said she wanted a late growth u/s at my first appointment.  It solidified my decision to change doctors.
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  • Incidentally, according to ACOG, suspected large baby is not a reason to induce (not an issue for a VBAC) or schedule a CS. So what does the growth US actually do for you? Besides giving you a chance to see your baby (you'll see him/her in a couple of weeks anyway)?
  • I think I would skip a growth u/s too.  I would hate to give them (or me) anything to have even in the back of their (or my) mind that might place doubt about my ability to push my baby out.
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  • I've decided that I'm going to decline it and cancel it.  My friend had a bad experience with a botched growth u/s at the same practice, so that coupled with the reasons given here made decide what I should have just done in the first place.  Of course, it was one of those stop you in the hallway after you put your pants back on and leave the exam room converstations, so it really took me by suprise and didn't give me a chance to ask any questions or air any concerns.
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  • imagelaura_belle:
    imageiris427:

    Personally I would be hesitant to have a growth ultrasound if there were no underlying issues like GD or I was measuring way off.  There are studies showing that growth ultrasound measurements often lead to doctors recommending more inductions or c-sections than are necessary, and that these interventions don't improve the outcomes.  Studies show that when doctors don't estimate the size, more women are able to deliver vaginally safely, even when the babies actually are large.  

    For a VBAC, the last thing I would want to do is give anyone a reason to push a repeat c-section or make them skeptical of my ability to deliver vaginally, especially given what the research says. 

    Good point.  See, this is why I mainly lurk and defer to more knowledgable posters. 

    I will add though, that the growth u/s and baby-size played no part in my c-section.  If my doctors were basing my c-s on size, I would skip it too. 

    Everything Iris said. I was scheduled for an ultrasound as part of a fetal well-being check the day before I went into labor with DS2, and I ended up turning it down (and having to sign an AMA for it, also). I was just too paranoid about having them be put on high alert bc I was a VBAC (and I was overdue at that point, besides). DS2 was 2+lbs bigger than my first son, who was a c-section due to OP/mal-positioning. I say don't do it. hth and good luck!

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

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