Sonogram Parties: Should You Have One?
Chad and Camie Berry received the gift of a lifetime 14 years ago, welcoming their daughter Madisyn into the world after the couple endured five miscarriages. Today, the proud parents gush over their daughter and want to bring the same joy to other expectant moms and dads across the country by hosting sonogram parties at baby showers, venues and at the homes of soon-to-be moms and dads.
A sonogram party looks something like this: finger foods and drinks are passed around the room while the mother-to-be stretches out on an examining table and a technician moves the wand across her belly. Imaging equipment is hooked up to a TV screen or a computer monitor for all the room to see. Guests will get a sneak peek of what the baby-on-board will look like.
The Berry's offer their costumers a "glimpse of your little miracle" by offering low-cost ultrasounds to couples celebrating the joy of their pregnancy. Miracles Imaging is the name of their company, and the parents work hand-in-hand: Camie, 38, is a certified sonographer and her husband, Chad, 37, is a former lab technician. As part of their package deal, they set up and bring massage tables and screens so that guests can view the baby (or babies!) with ease. The reason they love what they do? Berry and his wife are able to offer ultrasounds to their customers for about 70% off what they would normally pay at a doctor's office, but they insist that their services should never replace a routine medical exam. They see their business as as a more affordable alternative to a 3-D image ultrasound.
Thinking about their favorite memory on the job together, husband Chad says, "The most touching one we ever did was for a couple in their 40's trying to have a baby. She finally got pregnant and they planned a dinner at home but didn't tell the parents. One of the grandparents (who had been diagnosed with cancer) was crying hysterically the whole time. He could watch it in his own home; it was the most rewarding experience to provide that to someone."
Medical experts caution against the experience, though. The ACR (American College of Radiology) and the Food and Drug Administration, discourage having ultrasounds purely for entertainment and not for medical reasons.
While we don't feel strongly one way or the other, we want to know how other women feel about sonogram parties: Would you ever want to go? Would you ever have one? Do you think it's safe for baby and for mom?
Tell us your thoughts!