Public Education

Psychological aspects of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy.

Villeneuve C, Laroche C, Lippman A, Marrache M. Psychological aspects of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy. Can J Psychiatry. 1988 Aug;33(6):530-6.

The psychological impact of ultrasound examination on expectant parents is assessed through direct observation, interviews and the administration of a questionnaire to a large group of parents. The examination was a positive and reassuring experience for most parents. Among a wide array of variables that could account for the effects of the exam, the results were the most important. Women viewing their first ultrasound, specially primiparae were more moved. The results did not confirm that there is a traumatic effect when viewing precedes quickening. Contrary to previous reports, fathers were as emotionally involved as the mothers. The presence of the father seemed also to have a beneficial effect on the mother. One-half of parents wanted to know the sex of the fetus before birth. These findings are discussed, along with implications for problems arising from introduction of new technologies during pregnancy.