While showing off your baby scan photo is always a wonderfully exciting part of impending parenthood, experts in the US have issued an important safety warning in relation to the practice.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has urged parents against going for unnecessary baby scans, in order to keep the foetus as safe as possible.
In the consumer update, revised on Tuesday, the authority said it “strongly discourages” the use of foetal ultrasound imaging for non-medical reasons, such as creating “keepsake images and videos”.
A spokeswoman for the body, Jennifer Haliski, said that the latest revision is intended to promote “the safe and prudent use of ultrasound”.
It comes after the recent spike in ultrasound images and videos appearing online, with some even going viral, adding more of an entertainment value than a medical one for some parents.
The underlying concern behind the latest revision to the ultrasound guidelines in the US is that while there is no evidence to show that they cause harm to the baby, ultrasounds can heat the foetus’ tissue and produce very small bubbles in it.
With experts still uncertain of the long-term effects of the practice, the authority added: “While FDA recognises that foetal imaging can promote bonding between the parents and the unborn baby, such opportunities are routinely provided during prenatal care.”