Short Answer – YES, if done by a trained sonographer.

We reviewed a lot of research and could find no evidence that a single ultrasound scan performed by a trained operator (called a sonographer) who follows established guidelines causes any harm to a developing baby. Ultrasounds have been used safely during pregnancy for decades.  

Be Wary Of Keepsake Ultrasounds

That being said, an issue to be aware of are “keepsake” ultrasounds. These produce 3-D videos or portraits of your baby for non-medical reasons. Untrained administrators, without a doctor’s oversight, may perform keepsake ultrasounds. They can therefore be misinterpreted, or potentially risk exposure above recommended levels. 

For these reasons, several organizations have released statements against keepsake ultrasounds. Instead, they recommend the use of an ultrasound only when there is a medical need. These organizations include the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Ultimately the decision to perform any diagnostic test is up to you. The benefits must always be weighed against the risks.

Routine diagnostic ultrasounds have been around since the 1950’s. There has been no significant evidence showing harm, which indicates a very safe procedure.  

There is a possibility that a keepsake ultrasound may not be performed by a trained technician. For this reason, you might want to think twice about whether a keepsake ultrasound is really worth it. Plus, your doctor will likely print out a photo of your scheduled ultrasound, which you can keep in a picture frame like this one.

In any case, discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding ultrasounds with your doctor or healthcare provider.