PARENTS

Ultrasound Parties: Sonograms With Friends Grow In Popularity, Become Latest Pregnancy Trend (Report)

01/02/2013 03:11 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The increasingly public nature surrounding various aspects of pregnancy has gone one step further: Ultrasound parties are now growing in popularity, according to NBC's "Today."

Enterprising ultrasound techs are said to be charging between $100 and $350 so that expectant parents can have a sonogram performed in their homes as friends and family look on.

“This way gets you out of that clinic setting,” technician Christy Foster told the outlet.

Though some parents are using the events as an extension of the gender reveal parties that took off last year, according to the report, others just want a longer look at their babies and the chance to coo with friends.

Such parties follow what's been a steady progression of parents sharing more details about their pregnancies through various events and social media announcements.

In a 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, Marisa Wong argued that friends who were posting sonogram pictures on Facebook were simply broadcasting too much information. But the practice clearly appeals to many, and last year, Facebook went ahead and took a cue from the scores of parents posting pregnancy-related news and added "expecting" as a life event.

Then there was the even more personal trend of "the womb tube." In 2011, ABC's "Good Morning America" reported that women were filming themselves as they learned the results of their pregnancy tests and then posting the videos on YouTube.

Last year, gender reveal parties seemed to explode in popularity. According to the New Yorker, the first gender reveal party uploaded to YouTube posted in 2008, but in the six-month period from November of 2011 to April of 2012, there were 2,000 videos posted.

Still, with each pregnancy trend comes questions about the implications of being so public about a life event that can come with so many complications. The miscarriage rate for first-time pregnancies is 15 to 20 percent, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Ultrasounds can also reveal some concerning details -- a factor experts point out can be a drawback to hosting ultrasound parties.

"What if the ultrasonographer started the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat?" Dr. Amber Sills asked in the "Today" article. "Or what if the fetus had not developed a skull/head/brain? This happens more than most people realize. What do you do then?”

However, the ultrasound technicians behind the parties told the outlet that they only agree to engagements once the parents have received notice that the pregnancy is progressing normally.

What do you think of ultrasound parties? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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