5 Reasons To Schedule An Ultrasound Even If You're Planning A Home Birth

If you are planning a homebirth, your direct entry midwife or other care provider is likely taking care of most of your prenatal exams. However, you may still want to go to a radiology clinic or hospital to get an ultrasound. Why should you consider this procedure before a home birth? Here's a look at the reasons.

1. An Ultrasound Can Recognize a Variety of Serious Health Issues

An ultrasound looks at the anatomy of your child and ensures that everything looks healthy. In particular, doctors can pick up heart deformities, spina bifida, and a variety of other conditions with an ultrasound. That gives you the information you need to make a decision about your home birth.

In particular, if it looks like your baby will need emergency medical care right after birth, you may want to change your mind and move the birth to the maternity wing of a hospital. You may also want to use this information to help you plan ahead for what you are going to do after your child's birth.

2. An Ultrasound Can Be Helpful for Dating Your Pregnancy

Not sure when you got pregnant? Midwives can often estimate the date of conception through external measurements and even just by palpating your uterus externally. However, if you want to get more accurate gestational dating, you may want to get an ultrasound.

If you travel for business and want to ensure you are home close to your due date, this can be helpful. Generally, dating scans are more accurate earlier in your pregnancy.

3. Ultrasounds Can Check on Amniotic Fluid After Your Due Date

Even if you know the very moment you conceived, the date you give birth can vary, and many women go into labor after their due dates. Unfortunately, however, amniotic fluid levels can start to wane after your due date.

If you want to ensure your baby has the levels of fluid he or she needs, you may want to schedule an ultrasound. This can give you peace of mind that it's safe to wait until you naturally go into labor and that you don't need to induce labor.

4. Ultrasounds Can Help Determine Positioning

You and your midwife can estimate the position of your baby by tracking the type of location of movements that you feel. However, if you want to be absolutely certain about the position of your baby, you may want to get an ultrasound. This allows you to ensure that the baby is presenting head down.

If the baby is breech, you may want to ensure that your midwife has experience with birthing babies with that presentation. In other cases, you may want to move the birth to the hospital. That allows you to have an emergency c-section if needed.

Depending on the situation, the ultrasound may show that a foot or the butt is presenting first. However, the ultrasound can also detect other risks with positioning such as the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby's neck. Knowing that information can help you prepare for the birth more effectively.

5. Knowing the Gender Can Be Fun

In addition to getting a sense of risks or other medical issues, an ultrasound can also tell you what the gender of your baby is. If you want to have a big gender reveal party, if you want your shower guests to be able to buy boy or girl clothing, or if you just want to know what to expect, you may also want to get an ultrasound.

Remember, however, that an ultrasound isn't always 100% accurate when it comes to detecting whether or not you are carrying a boy or a girl—in rare cases, you may get a surprise on the birth day. For more information or assistance, contact establishments like EVDI Medical Imaging.