Health experts are warning parents-to-be against the dangers of having non-essential ultrasound scans, to provide keepsake images of their baby.
Whilst they maintain that scans are an important tool in identifying the health and wellbeing of the unborn child, it's also important that people consider the possible health risks of scans that "do not have a defined diagnostic benefit".
These comments follow a new report by the independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation, which looks at the health effects of ultrasound in modern technology.
Whilst the overall results of the report suggest that there was little risk to the unborn child during pregnancy or after birth, there have been some unconfirmed reports that suggest it could cause problems to a developing nervous system.
Professor Anthony Swerdlow, AGNIR's chairman, believes that it's worth looking into whether the scans can have a negative effect, especially when taking into consideration the vast changes in technology over the past fifty years.
Meanwhile, Justin McCracken, chief executive officer of the HPA commented on the reports: "Overall, there is a track record of safety with diagnostic use of ultrasound, so people should continue using ultrasound for medical purposes. However, there are some uncertainties that need to be clarified through additional research."
Essentially, the experts are happy for women to have scans for diagnostic purposes, but advise them to consider the possible medical implications before booking a non-essential scan in order to get a souvenir scan image.