Ultrasound Parties Are The New Fad For Expectant Parents
The last time you went to a baby shower, I bet it didn’t include being treated to real-time images of the guest’s unborn baby. In the last two weeks, a new party trend has flooded the headlines: ultrasound-themed parties and baby showers.
No longer will we simply measure the Mom-to-be’s belly with toilet paper. Now we can all join together and be a part of that special moment, when the unborn baby’s heartbeat is heard or the sex determined, with drinks in hand and snack plates balanced on our laps. But is this going too far?
This Isn’t Your Mother’s Baby Shower
NBC’s Today contributor, Lela Davidson, rung in the New Year reporting on several expectant parents co-hosting get-togethers with a pre-natal, mobile ultrasound company that services northwest Arkansas (in her article “Ultrasound parties: New frontier in pregnancy oversharing”). Teena Gold and Christy Foster—licensed ultrasound technicians and members of the ARDMS—founded Baby Face and More. They perform 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasounds (when they aren’t working their day jobs) for parents in their homes. The sessions last for 30 to 40 minutes, and come with digital footage of the entire process, and guests are invited if the parents would like.
Numerous other companies that perform similar services and offer baby shower packages have been cropping up around the country, such as Baby Impressions (South Carolina), Miracles Imaging (Florida), Peek-A-View (California) and A Look Within (Florida).
The Age of Oversharing?
There are those who have concern over ultrasound parties. The Huffington Post’s Katy Hall added ultrasound parties to her list of parties to miss, along with divorce parties and single women’s weddings. Tulsa World columnist, Ginnie Graham closed her article on the matter with, “Not all things have to be shared so publicly.”
There is also the potential that some distressing news could be learned during the public viewing. “‘What if the ultrasonographer started the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat?’” asked OB/GYN, Dr. Amber Sills, in Today’s Davidson’s article. “‘Or what if the fetus had not developed a skull/head/brain? This happens more than most people realize. What do you do then?’”
In Davidson’s article, the Baby Face and More ultrasound technicians stated that they only do ultrasound parties after mothers have had appointments and tests with obstetric medical professionals and are told their pregnancies are healthy. If Gold and Foster do notice something wrong on the ultrasound image, they will privately take the parents aside.
The Atlantic Health’s editor, James Hamblin, MD, supports parents who opt for this type of party, if they are comfortable doing so, as it can be a time to share a cherished moment with loved ones. “There is definitely something to the notion of having close friends and family with you at a time like that,” Hamblin wrote. “Within your inner circle of people (you’re not inviting your boss and your grocer and your candlestick maker, presumably), in terms of health, there’s no ‘oversharing.’ There’s really only undersharing.” Hamblin added, “And yes, these parties could go either way. Everyone could be crying sadly together, or crying happily together, but as long as we’re all clear that those are very real possibilities, I say go for it. It’s a super vulnerable time, and if you want to have people there for it, if that makes it easier for you, awesome.”
What do you think? Are ultrasound baby showers “oversharing” or will you be booking one for yourself, your daughter or your best friend?