Parent Q&A

  • Is anyone aware of any ultrasounds clinics in the East Bay (or even in the entire Bay Area) that are currently allowing partners at appointments? We are due for our 20 week ultrasound in a few weeks and would love to find a clinic that would allow both of us to attend.

    Thanks in advance for any tips!

    I had all my ultrasounds done at the Sutter lab on Telegraph and they allowed my partner to come. 

    I was using private ultrasound clinics and the charge was about $50.00. They were fine with partners coming in. Those aren’t diagnostic ultrasounds and are really for you to just see the kid

    UCSF was allowing partners for fetal diagnostics but as of 1/8, however, they stopped allowing them to come so depending on when you need to go, they said it might change in a few weeks but weren't sure. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Where can I get a 3d ultrasound?

Dec 2005

I have my 20 week ultrasound scheduled for just after Thanksgiving. But, I was interested in getting a 3d/4d ultrasound also. Any suggestions for a local place? Thanks!

Weird! I just did one of these yesterday. Since our regular doctor ultrasounds at Kaiser did not yield a gender result (wow, that sounded really formal) and my husband was DYING to know (I could care less... we already have one boy, either way I would have been happy) I went yesterday to ''4D fetal imaging''. It's right by monster park at 150 Executive Boulevard. Google them... they have a SF and SJ location. The guy was great... I only wanted a 2D gender package (el cheapo) but he upgraded me for free because it's a surprise for my hubby for Xmas. So I got to see the 3D stuff which was absolutely beautiful and take home a bunch of great freebies! It's a lot of fun... they're only one of two places in the area (the other is near Walnut Creek, I think). You get a video and pics and all that. PS: I'm almost 30 weeks, so you might want to hold off a little bit to get good features. According to the owner, 30 weeks is the best time (not too big, not too small) anon
The ultrasound I received through my doctor was unable to determine the sex of the baby. I considered getting an additional private ultrasound, but decided against it for safety reasons. Before you make a decision, you should take a look at the FDA's statement on the issue at http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/104_images.html.
I had a wonderful 3d/4d ultrasound experience at a local place called FIRSTFOTO3D. They are located right across from Alta Bates Hospital. Some of the other places I checked out were weird in that not run by Obs. This place is new and started by a few local obs. The sono person was great and we got some awesome pictures and a dvd clip. Check out their website firstfoto3d.com. We already knew our baby's gender but were happy to get confirmation! connie

Ultrasound reveals indicator of Down Syndrome

April 2005

I just had my 20-week ultrasound today and the doctor saw a result that concerned him. There is supposed to be a bright white line along the nose and he only saw a dim one. The bright line shows the nose bone; the dimmer one might be cartilage. Apparently this is a strong indicator of Down Syndrome risk - he said it increases the chances by 20-30 times; though on my search of Google and PubMed, most articles make it sound much worse than this. For example, I am Caucasian and only about half of a percent of Caucasian women have fetuses without nose bones who are also chromosomally normal. So this sounds really bad. However, the doctor, who has been doing this test 6 months to a year, and the genetic counselors still think my risk is relatively low - less than 5%. This is mainly because when I had my BUN test (nuchal + blood) at 13 weeks, that test came back with a 1 in 1126 chance of DS - very low for a 38 year old. Also, there were no other problems at all with the ultrasound - no hole in the heart or other markers of DS (though I know not all DS babies have the same physical manifestations.) The doctor and genetic counselors sounded like they were largely guessing about what the varying test results mean, however. In trying to make sense of the research I found versus what the doctor and genetic counselors told me about my risks, I'm just wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this test. How likely is it that he just didn't find the bone? (According to the genetic counselors, he's very good at this.) Or could it be that the bone just hasn't come in fully yet, since there is a line there (and the line is the proper length)? As is probably clear from the fact that I'm writing, we've decided not to risk an amnio until late in the pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage has passed. But we would still benefit from a better understanding of how to interpret my risk, in the meantime. Wondering what to prepare for

Hi. First let me say how sorry I am that you have to be worrying at a time that should otherwise be so joyful. That said, you make no mention of whether or not you are opposed to getting an amnio. If not, and you'd like to be best prepared for what may be coming your way, why not get one. You can do so up until 24 weeks, as I recall. If you are opposed, forgive my suggestion. But, you will need to find a way to come to peace with your baby - regardless of his/her condition at birth. You are courageous to ask us, but as all mothers must do - follow YOUR heart, YOUR instincts and you probably won't be steered wrong. Best wishes to you.
I am so sorry to hear about your recent ultrasound results. You must be very frightened. What I hear from your posting, however, is that you want the list to offer you advice that will somehow make sense of this troubling finding, and I am afraid that you will receive many replies with many contradictory suggestions and implications, and that you will be left just as confused and frightened.

You indicated that you weren't willing to risk an ultrasound until the chances of miscarriage had decreased, but I am wondering if now wouldn't be a good time to reconsider your original decision. Given that this situation is a stressful one, which is not good for mother or child, it might be the case that despite the risks of having a miscarriage with ultrasound, the benefits might outweigh them. You would either have peace of mind of knowing for sure (and not asking everyone what they think, even though you have the advice of well-trained, experienced professionals already), or you would have a LOT more time to make decisions for yourself and your family (prepare yourself for having a child who has Down's syndrome, or to discontinue the pregnancy if you so choose).

My heart goes out to you in this time of agonizing uncertainty. I think in this case, however, having as much knowledge as possible would indeed be helpful for you. anon. please

I am a certified nurse midwife and I work with a group of high- risk perinatiologists and I have never heard of this nose-bone test. Women over 35 are offered the nuchal (like you had), the AFP, and an amnio. Maybe this is some new test???? Research has shown that if the nuchal and the AFP are normal there is a very low risk of chromosome problems. If you have had both and they are normal you can be reassurred. But if you want to be sure you should have the amnio. If you have the amnio late in pregnancy and are carrying a baby with downs it will be too late to terminate, if that is what you wanted to do. I myself had an amnio and, when done by a perinatiologist there's a 1-2% risk of miscarriage. But felt the risk was worth it because I was not going to continue with the pregnancy if the baby had chromosome problems. This is the question you should ask yourself: Do you want to raise a baby with chromosome problems? If the answer is 100% no you need an anmio. Good Luck To You

Printing ultrasound images

August 2003

To make a long story short, the technician at Summit wouldn't print any images of my baby's ultrasound. So I called the Head of Radiology, who obliged me by sending copies of the x-ray film. Now we have loads of images but no way to put them in a form that can go in his baby book. I was going to take them to Custom Process on 5th Street in Berkeley, but they closed in March. Does anyone know of a reliable place in the East Bay where I could maybe have the films scanned and recorded on a cd or just printed? Susan

Here are two possible labs that might be able to help. Photolab 2235 5th Street in Berkeley 644-1400 or Cantoo 813 Heinz Street Berkeley 540-0291

OB with in-office Ultrasound?

March 2003

I was wondering if anybody knows of a good OB that does all laboratory and ultrasound tests in-office. My previous So-Cal OB had my blood/urine samples taken at her office and sent to Unilab and also owned an ultrasound machine, so things were very convenient. On the contrary, my current physician in Berkeley sends ME to Unilab for every test, and ultrasounds are done at Alta Bates, which has a very inconvenient schedule (8:30-4:00, no weekends). My first ultrasound results did not get to my doctor's office in time for my appointment, so our discussion of the results was based purely on her phone conversation with the radiologist (not to mention the fact that I did not get a copy of the ''photos''). Am I just being So-Cal spoiled or are there more equipped OB's out there? Thanks in advance,
Tired of running around mom to-be

So why do you need so many ultrasounds? They are not without risks, and disrupt the baby. You'll have years for getting better pictures than these. A lot of this kind of testing gives women a false sense of security and the illusion that somehow this is safe and good to do. Tests can pose increased risks. OB nurse
I see Dr. Goldie Gross in Lafayette who does urine and vaginal ultrasound in the office, but does not take blood. She also has an office in Oakland. I can't recommend her enough. anon