Ah, the ubiquitous ultrasound.
Ultrasound technology is spreading across the world like wildfire. Parents like it because they can "see" their baby, which makes the pregnancy and their connection to their baby feel more real. Doctors and medical staff like it because of the authoritative knowledge it confers upon them. (for more on this, see Robbie Davis-Floyd's Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives)
Prenatal ultrasounds are used for confirming the pregnancy early on, figuring out gestational age, and checking for the location of the placenta. They can also be used to detect any fetal abnormalities, multiple pregnancies, and fetal position (the latter of which can also be determined using palpation).
Ultrasounds are also used to take measurements of the baby's size, which a computer then uses to guess at a weight (but as I have mentioned before here and here, this can be off by several pounds, so think twice before being talked into induction or c-section due to "big baby" diagnoses from an ultrasound).
What exactly is an ultrasound?
Think Ultrasound for Babies Is Safe?
|Research shows ultrasound populations have a quadrupled perinatal death rate, increased rates of brain damage, dyslexia, speech delays, epilepsy, and learning difficulties.|