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Why Chrissy Teigen’s DIY Ultrasound Idea Is Harmful, If Tempting

As Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram Monday, ultrasounds can be very reassuring to a pregnant person, especially early on before we can feel the fetus move and make their presence known. But she raised some eyebrows with her post as well when she suggested that it would be a fun thing to have her own ultrasound machine, or at least access to one anytime she wanted her baby to pose for a pic in utero.

“Before I’m able to start feeling the kicks, the anxiety gets the best of me and any little bits of spotting or pain freak me ouuuuuut,” Teigen wrote of her pregnancy with baby number three. “One day I swear I’ll buy one of these machines but by then I’ll be all done with having monsters!”

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We were almost too distracted by the cuteness of Luna serving as her mom’s ultrasound technician — exclaiming what we think is “Hot lava!” — to notice the slightly questionable idea she has of owning her very own ultrasound machine. Which, by the way, the internet tells me is actually possible and affordable — if not exactly recommended.

Teigen doubled down on her desire for more images of her fetus in a comment.

“I think there should be vanity ultrasound places,” she wrote. “My doctor is so generous about giving pics but some rush you along! I want a full in vitro photo shoot experience where I cough and wiggle to get the best alien baby shots lol.”

Many commented to inform Teigen that such places actually do exist. Back when we used to go to malls, these “4D Keepsake Ultrasound” places were a common sight. But they were also a source of controversy. Back in 2014, the FDA came out with a statement advising expecting parents to avoid the use of nonmedical ultrasound imaging.

“Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important,” Shahram Vaezy, Ph.D., an FDA biomedical engineer said in the statement. “Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues.”

There is also the issue of parents and untrained technicians trying to analyze these sometimes inscrutable images on their own. They may see problems where there aren’t any, or assume all is good and then skip scheduled doctor’s appointments.

The world of fetal ultrasounds and celebrities crossed paths back in 2004, when the American College of Radiology came out against Tom Cruise for using one at home with then-wife Katie Holmes.

“This is a patient safety issue,” said Carol M. Rumack, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Ultrasound Commission, said at the time. “Untrained people, even if they have the financial means, should not buy, or be allowed to buy and operate, ultrasound machines which are, in fact, medical devices and should not be used without a medical indication.”

But OK, OK, we are not in any way assuming that Teigen was actually going to go through with this whim. Given the fact that she is seeing a fancy team of obstetricians who do home visits, it doesn’t seem like she’s about to give up on real, professional medical advice and let Dr. Luna Stephens advise her instead. We just wanted to use this opportunity to remind everyone else to talk to their doctors before doing this at home (or in a mall) too.

We can’t wait to see if Chrissy and John are going to add to this list of unusual celebrity baby names.

celebrity baby names

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