Ultrasound prepares parents

Increasingly better ultrasound technology can show more foetal aberrations, often during a routine examination undertaken in the 18th week of pregnancy. These aberrations typically reflect chromosomal problems, syndromes, illnesses and deformities. Nevertheless, this new information has not increased the number of pregnancies being terminated, according to an NTNU PhD research project conducted by Kristin Offerdal.

She studied nearly 50 000 pregnancies and found that women did not chose an abortion after deformities such as clubfoot or cleft palate were found, unless there were life threatening or fatal conditions. On the other hand, the information from the ultrasound helped prepare parents to care for their malformed or sick baby.