Prenatal ultrasounds in social settings were named a "trend" in "oversharing" this week. And yeah, it's easy to laugh at, but making health social is actually wonderful.
Prenatal ultrasound parties are so in this week. We're hearing all about how, in several places in the U.S., friends and family are getting together and having an ultrasonographer come to their homes and evaluate what's inside a pregnant friend's pregnant belly.
This is happening enough to be a "trend" -- so called here, here, here, here, here. Specifically, it's being called an "oversharing" trend. Huffington Post also listed ultrasound parties among "7 Parties You Don't Want to Attend," and Jezebel called them "the latest rage for self-important pregnant women." Fair enough. It's a funny concept, and overindulgent self-importance can become a thing; but at the end of the week, we'd do well to step back from the cynicism on this one for a second.
The substantive argument against the parties is well summarized as OB/GYN Amber Sills told Lela Davidson in Today: "What if the ultrasonographer started the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat? ... Or what if the fetus had not developed a skull/head/brain? This happens more than most people realize. What do you do then?"
Sills points out that ultrasounds have traditionally been used to diagnose chromosomal disorders, malformations, and to aid in estimating fetal weight or the amount of amniotic fluid -- not for entertainment value.
Traditionally, yes. But making health social doesn't mean we're unduly turning it into entertainment.