Pregnancy: are ultrasounds dangerous for the baby?

Grossesse : est-ce que les échographies sont dangereuses pour le bébé ?

When to do the ultrasounds ?

During a basic pregnancy with no particular complications, only 3 ultrasounds are necessary and are covered by the social security. The first ultrasound is called "dating ultrasound", it is an ultrasound that takes place between the 11th and 13th week of amenorrhea, that is to say at about 3 months of pregnancy. It lasts 30 minutes and it ensures that the fetus is viable by examining the head, chest, limbs, belly, various organs and the heart of the fetus. This ultrasound also verifies that the fetus does not have any anomalies or malformations. During this first ultrasound, the pregnant woman will be checked for malformations or fibroids in the ovaries that could have an impact on the pregnancy.

The second ultrasound is called morphological ultrasound. It is performed between the 22nd and 24th week of amenorrhea. This corresponds to about the 5th month. During this ultrasound, several measurements will be taken: the diameter and circumference of the head, the measurement of the brain, the measurement of the lateral ventricles, the measurement of the nose bones. It will also examine all the organs in detail, the speed of the blood in the cord and in the uterine arteries. It is during this ultrasound that it is possible to know the sex of the baby.

Finally, the third and last ultrasound is usually done at 7 to 8 months, between 31 and 33 weeks of amenorrhea. This is an ultrasound where the doctor will measure the baby and check its growth. He also checks all the organs, as well as the limbs and takes some measurements. Thanks to these measurements, the doctor is able to estimate the weight of the baby at term.

Why are ultrasounds useful?

The ultrasound machine uses ultrasound waves. Ultrasound waves are not harmful to health, they have no impact on the tissues and organs of the human body. In pregnant women, ultrasounds are performed for diagnosis and monitoring of the pregnancy, as well as to see if there are any malformations, etc.

There are 3 types of ultrasounds:

- The most common ultrasound is 2D ultrasound, which is a single plane. This is the basic ultrasound that is performed in all radiology centers.

- Then, some centers do 3D ultrasound, i.e., volume ultrasound, which allows to have 3D images.

- And finally, there is 4D ultrasound, where this time we add to the volume the notion of temporality. It is a dynamic ultrasound where we see the 3D of the baby in time, since they are in fact videos of the order of 7 images per second.

The 3D ultrasound and the 4D ultrasound are not really useful for the diagnosis but rather for the parents. It allows them to see their baby. It has no impact on the follow-up of the pregnancy or for the diagnosis of malformation.

Are 3D and 4D ultrasound scanners dangerous for the baby's health?

3D and 4D ultrasounds, like 2D ultrasounds, also use ultrasound waves. As previously explained, ultrasound waves are not harmful and therefore do not have any deleterious effects on human body cells, soft tissues and organs. Whether you have a 2D, 3D or 4D ultrasound, there will be no negative impact on your body or your child's body.

Do repeated ultrasounds promote regurgitation in newborns?

There is a common misconception that repeated ultrasound scans cause spit-up in newborns, but there is no scientifically proven link between repeated ultrasound scans and spit-up in newborns.

Our menstrual panties also accompany you during pregnancy!


  • Charlène

    Bonsoir :) Je n’avais jamais entendu ce mythe, mais je tiens à témoigner, pour mes deux filles, j’ai eu des échographies tous les mois + les échographies trimestrielles + une nouvelle échographie le lendemain ou surlendemain lors du rdv gynéco. Mes filles n’ont absolument pas de reflux, elles ont eu quelques régurgitations mais rien d’alarmant, tout à fait normal pour un petit bébé avec un estomac peu mature et en construction :)

  • Jenna

    Bonjour Sophie, mon bébé souffre de RGO. Mon ostéopathe m’a dit que c’était surement parce que j’avais fait trop d’échographies pendant la grossesse. Vous expliquez l’inverse. Je ne sais plus quoi penser ?!
    Merci beaucoup !

  • Lucie

    Justement, je me posais la question, j’ai vu sur un compte instagram spécialisé en reflux que c’était le cas…
    Merci pour cet article ca me rassure parce que je m’en voulais beaucoup d’avoir fait beaucoup d’échographies pendant la grossesse

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