Baby showers get high-tech upgrade - to ultrasound parties

Baby showers get high-tech upgrade - to ultrasound parties

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PHOENIX -

Most women have attended a baby shower before. But a very special kind of baby shower is really getting popular. Ultrasound parties are happening all over the valley. Friends and family can get a 3D look at your unborn baby with you!

But is it safe?

"We have been trying for a really long time. we found out we were pregnant so we were both really excited," says Kaurtney Slade.

Pink or blue is a typical baby shower game. But this one has a bit of a twist.

Expectant mom Kaurtney Slade's friends and family are about to find out whether she's having a boy or girl by viewing a 3D ultrasound in her living room.

"I thought that it was an awesome idea! I don't think it's too intrusive at all. I think having everyone there to witness it at the same time is an amazing and rare really opportunity."

Wombmates 3D4D holds these ultrasound parties everywhere.

"We've done it in a bar we've done many in a church," says James Dana of Wombmates 3D4D.

"If you're going to have a baby shower, why not have the star of the show at the baby shower and with us there, you'll actually be able to see the baby on the TV."

The portable machine plugs right into Slade's TV, so everyone in the room can see what she sees. What about the possibility of negative results?

"We definitely check before we start scanning, with the parents, we have them sign a disclosure that they have seen a doctor and the last ultrasound was normal," says Dana.

But is there a problem with these parties? Are ultrasounds for recreational use safe?

The FDA warns women not to take any chances. Since 2008, it's taken an unapproved position on these keepsake videos and images stating that the long term effects are unknown.

But some say this viewpoint may be outdated.

"ultrasound for diagnostic purposes in pregnancy has been around for 30 years or more and we haven't seen problems from those babies, 30 years ago, who were exposed to ultrasound waves or demonstrating any long-term or new unexpected effects," says Dr. Thomas Strong, Phoenix Perinatal Associates.

However, Dr. Thomas strong points out expectant moms should understand the purpose of these parties is strictly entertainment.

"The key is to keep in mind they're not looking for birth defects and therefore they may not identify problems if they're there. They shouldn't be interpreted by the family that is giving the green light, that is pronouncing normalcy for the baby."

"We've had two ultrasounds before everything's come out normal, we've had lots of testing and stuff done everything that you have to do up until 18 weeks," says Slade.

Back at the party, the anticipation grows. What is it, boy or girl?

"So there would be something right here if it was a boy but it's a girl!"

"I'm really excited actually, my whole side's girls, his whole side's boys so," says Slade.

"You never see that until they're in your arms, this is cool," says Dianne Hagen, expectant grandmother.

"Seeing her flip around and rub her eyes and yawn and everything, it's a good experience," says Slade. "I'm just happy everyone's here that can see it, witnessed together and we're in it together."

And Wombmates 3D 4D'S owners say they hold about 15 ultrasound parties a month. Prices start at $65.

Online: www.wombmates3d4d.com


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