FDA Warns Against Keepsake Ultrasound Trend

FDA Warns Against Keepsake Ultrasound Trend

By Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

For expecting parents, ultrasounds are the first way for you to see your baby and hear their heartbeat and a lot of parents are wanting to keep those moments.

Keepsake ultrasounds are a growing trend but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning against them. They say they can potentially do more harm then good.

A keepsake ultrasound is simply for entertainment or memories, They typically capture 3D or 4D images of an unborn child.

"There are no known dangers of ultrasounds. However, they are a form of energy. That energy is deposited into the fetus and the uterus. Therefore, there is always a potential harm and we don't recommend it that it be done unless there is a medical necessity where the benefit outweighs the risk," George Rodenko, a Radiologist at Medical Center Hospital, said.

In most cases, ultrasounds check the baby's size, movements and breathing. There is no evidence that ultrasounds can cause harm to a fetus but they should always be done by a trained medical expert. According the the FDA's website,  keepsake ultrasounds are often commercialized and creating a keepsake video can take as long as an hour to get enough images of the unborn child. That is 45 minutes longer than a typical ultrasound for a pregnant woman.

"Usually they're fairly short. 10 minutes, it could take 20 minutes depending on how far along the woman is. Rarely, it will take longer than that and sometimes even shorter," Rodenko said.

Those extra 45 minutes, according to the FDA, can have an effect on the baby's body. Like a greater risk of heat and small bubbles on their body tissues. Doctors say the safest alternative is a snapshot from your ultrasound with your physician.

"In my opinion, a medical ultrasound is usually necessary at least once during pregnancy and that would be a good opportunity to get some of those images that might help a parent bond with a child and it can be done more safely," Rodenko said.