General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Should I worry that the doctor wants to do a sonogram at 37 weeks pregnant?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) August 11th, 2011 from iPhone

I had a routine check up today and when I asked the doctor if he can estimate the size of my baby he told me I’m not measuring very big at all and he doesn’t think the baby will be big. He also mentioned during the next 5 weeks is when the baby will gain the most weight. But the part that is starting to concern me is that he set up an ultrasound appointment in 2 weeks to see how big the baby is and check his position. Is this normal? My friend, who went to the same obgyn, didn’t have a sonogram late in her pregnancy. So she filled my head with worries about my son’s size! If the dr was concerned I would assume he would express those concerns with me. Right?

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23 Answers

Pandora's avatar

How much does your insurance pay. I would ask him for an explaination. Some doctors are quick to order test to get the most dollars out of your insurance. Make sure this isn’t the case.
Could be your friends insurance doesn’t pay for it without a good reason, or she had one done earlier and your doctor just noticed he let you slip by without adding that extra charge.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Pandora My gut says he’s not just trying to get money from the insurance company. He isn’t the type to run unnecessary tests just because.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, a sonogram is totally non invasive.


JLeslie's avatar

I thought money maybe too. The other is CYA. He may just want to confirm everything looks ok to cover his ass if God forbid anything is wrong since the baby is a little small. Doctors do it very often, even when there is only a very small chance something is wrong. I think I read a study that said someting like 20% of all tests ordered are because the doctor is worried about the remote possibility of a lawsuit, they usually do not feel those tests will reveal anything. Total waste really.

I would call and ask why specifically he is doing the ultrasound, what his specific concern is. Although, I think he told you already. He is concerned your baby is a little underweight. Don’t panic, you have had ultrasounds before, I think they would have already caught something that was very wrong.

creative1's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it they do sometimes do the sonograms that late just to make sure the baby is still gaining. Just think if something was really wrong they would have done something quicker than wait and schedule it 2 weeks away when you could actually have the baby anytime after 37 weeks anyways. A little smaller is ok, everyone is suppose to be a different size.

Think of it as another time to see him before he is born because any worrying you are doing he is feeling so keep calm and so will he.

JLeslie's avatar

Also, a little on the small size and perfectly healthy is better for the mommy. Delivery should be easier. I knew someone who delivered twins the fisrt time, and a sinhleton the second, and she said she was not prepared for the singleton, who was 9 pounds, the twins were much easier, since they were smaller, arouns 6 pounds I think.

jca's avatar

When I was pregnant, the doctor’s office had sonogram equipment and they did it every time. Every time I went in, the exam was non-invasive, it was a sonogram.

Don’t let your friend worry you. She may want to see you feel anxiety for whatever reason she thinks it’s fun. Tell her you’re not going to worry about it unless you know you have something to worry about. Make sure that even if you really are concerned, you don’t show her, because she may feed off it. Her trying to make you worry is not very nice of her, please realize that.

Call the doctor and just ask him “I am just curious why you want to do a sonogram at this point?” It’s a simple question and his answer will probably put you at ease.

SuperMouse's avatar

Ask the doctor the reasoning behind the sonogram. Even if you have to call go ahead and do it. You and your baby are his patients and he needs to be willing to answer any and all of your questions and address your concerns.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Since your doctor told you it was to check the position and the baby’s size, I’d trust that. If the doctor was really concerned about it, I doubt he’d be waiting 2 weeks to have it done. Some doctor’s like to check the baby’s position via ultrasound toward the end so they know for sure if the baby is breech (since that can be a more complicated delivery). Usually they just feel with their hands, but sometimes they are still unsure that way, so they check with the ultrasound to be sure. After a certain point in pregnancy, it’s less likely for the baby to flip over .

As far as the concern about how your baby is doing, keep track of your fetal kick counts and let your doctor know if they decrease or stop right away.

Judi's avatar

If he is not doing the test for 2 weeks then he must not be extremely concerned.
Don’t stress to much. You have a baby to make. :-)
If the doctor had huge concerns he would have done the ultrasound right away.
Ask all the questions you need to and do what you need to do to get as “zen” as you can. Enjoy this time as much as you can. In 30 years you want to be able to look back on this time fondly. You don’t need to spend this time stressing.

Rarebear's avatar

It’s standard practice if there is a size date comparison. And they wait until 37 weeks because they can safely deliver the fetus if there is a percieved problem.

geeky_mama's avatar

No need to worry – this is absolutely normal for every pregnancy (3) I’ve had.

Also, the fact that you are measuring small is an indicator you should be monitored for IUGR (where the baby has stopped growing or is not getting good nourishment from the placenta any longer). This is best monitored by sonogram. They would do this from 36 weeks onwards because from that stage they can more likely induce labor if needed.
Also, knowing whether the baby is head down (as expected at this stage in your pregnancy) is also good to check via sonogram—otherwise you might be indicated for c-section. (And they tend to schedule those for 38 weeks gestation.)

All totally normal – and all non-invasive for both you and baby.

wundayatta's avatar

I think it’s pretty standard. There were regularly scheduled sonograms for my kids.

Are you worried about the cost? If that’s the case, let your doctor know. He’ll let you know the risks of going without.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I had sonograms while I was delivering and every week (sometimes twice a week) up to that point. The doc is most likely wanting to establish size & position. It’s completely normal.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, every week is overkill. When doctors are doing that, it’s usually for billing purposes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Rarebear Actually the way our insurance worked, they were only able to charge for co-pays & the birth. Since their office had a sonogram (and my son was breech until the last couple of weeks) they used it a lot.

Rarebear's avatar

Oh, if the fetus was breach, that’s different. Then it’s totally appropriate.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@wundayatta Cost isn’t my concern. The insurance will cover it. I was only worried that maybe the doctor was concerned about the baby and wasn’t expressing those concerns with me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I think he was being honest and forthright with you @ItalianPrincess1217 when the doctor set up the ultrasound appointment in 2 weeks to see how big the baby is and check his position.

Since this is your first and as I recall, you’re petite, it’d be normal to check baby size and position. He wouldn’t want you to go through hours of unnecessary labor just to find out the baby’s head is too large to come through you vaginally. It’s normal to check.

If he was concerned about something, you’d be coming in one week or less.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@SpatzieLover That’s what I initially told myself. If something were wrong, I assume he wouldn’t wait 2 whole weeks before checking things out. But my friends and family got into my head and started throwing remarks out there such as, “Oh I hope nothing is wrong with the baby” and “That doesn’t sound normal. Is the baby too small?” I need to start associating with less negetive people!

SpatzieLover's avatar

WARNING: People especially family members and co-workers have a tendency to relate the most horrid pregnancy stories right before you give birth.

Don’t fret m’dear. I’m sure all is well :)

Rarebear's avatar

@SpatzieLover is right. Dont’ listen to anybody. Everybody has a horror story. I delivered over 1000 babies in my time and I never had a bad baby.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

In Canada, this is a fairly common practice and no one needs to worry about the cost. Where the baby may be of unusually low birth weight, special procedures and attention may be required after you deliver. It is about doing what is best for your baby. It is too bad that in the USA, the price tag gets in the way of good medical practice.

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