The Benefits of Prenatal Ultrasound
Extensive research has been performed on the use of ultrasound and has shown a great rise in the scope of benefits available through ultrasound, in many ways attributable to the development of three-dimensional ultrasound technology.
Both two- and three-dimensional ultrasound have been proven to increase the maternal-fetal bonding and to produce improvements in the baby's health and size at birth. Three-dimensional ultrasound adds the benefit of mothers being better able to visualize the baby before birth and they have reported having a more immediate sense of 'knowing' the baby after birth. Not only is her perception of her unborn child improved during and after pregnancy, but it has also been shown that the perception of her body improves after having an ultrasound. As a result of feeling more connected to her unborn child, a stronger sense of well-being and reassurance about her pregnancy, ultrasounds typically evoke increased commitment to prenatal health behaviors, such as an improved diet, exercise and smoking cessation.
A common focus in many studies has been the issue of maternal anxiety, the negative effects of such on the fetus and the use of ultrasound to reduce anxiety. One study reported a consistent decrease not only in anxiety but also in depression, somatic symptoms and hostility. Feedback and explanation during an ultrasound, which are highly valued at Ultrasona, were shown to be of great importance in the area of reassurance. Several studies have also reported significant reductions in paternal stress when fathers view an ultrasound of their unborn child. This benefit can also be applied to other family members, creating greater understanding in those closest to the mother and a stronger support system for the mother and child.
To read about these studies in greater detail, please see the individual studies summarized here.